Auction 108, Lot 660

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

Size:
4.4 x 6.6 inches
11.2 x 16.8 cm

Book of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity, but modeled on the Divine Office, a cycle of daily devotions, prayers and readings, performed by members of religious orders and the clergy. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight hours (times for prayer ): Matins, Lauds. Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Book of Hours were written by hand on expensive parchment and beautifully illuminated with jewel-like pigments and gold leaf. These illuminated manuscripts combined the collaborative efforts of an array of highly skilled craftspeople; requiring the joint labors of the parchmenter, professional scribes to write the text in Gothic script, artists to illuminate the pages with decorations, and masterful binders to complete the process.

A very nice vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in either Paris or Rouen. The neat script is skillfully written with an almost printed-like regularity in brown/black ink. Both sides are beautifully decorated with large initials and complicated pen work extending into the margins and embellished with gold leaf.

References:

Condition: A

Bottom of recto includes a later signature in light brown ink.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $220

Closed on 9/29/2004

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