Catalog Archive
Auction 109, Lot 751

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.2 x 7.5 inches
13.2 x 19.1 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.

This vellum leaf is from a Book of Hours written in Normandy, for the use of Coutances. It was once owned by Seigneur Richard du Mesnildot, Provost Royal of Coutances in 1489. The leaf is embellished on verso with an illuminated initial with decoration extending into the margin, in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin.


Condition: B

Light spotting in margins.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $100

Closed on 12/1/2004