Catalog Archive
Auction 108, Lot 667

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1510 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

3.6 x 5.8 inches
9.1 x 14.7 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.

Magnificent vellum leaf from the transitional period in which printers incorporated the manuscript conventions of illuminated initials and illustrations into their work. The recto is printed in black ink with illuminated initials and a panel of flowers and leaves. The entire verso is filled with a beautiful manuscript painting of four saints standing in a medieval plaza with an angel behind them and the Holy Trinity looking down from above.


Condition: A

Vellum is slightly cockled with some damp stains in margins.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,600


Closed on 9/29/2004