Catalog Archive
Auction 108, Lot 664

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1485 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

3.7 x 5.6 inches
9.4 x 14.2 cm
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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 beautiful vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours with wonderful decorative panels containing colorful flowers, leaves, and acanthus leaves. The text is from the Hours of the Cross and is illuminated with large initials and line fillers painted in red and blue with lots of gold. Provenance: Part of this book was in the Edward Laurence Doheny Memorial Library, St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, Calf.


Condition: A

Small ink smudge in upper margin.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $200

Closed on 9/29/2004