Catalog Archive
Auction 109, Lot 755

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1460 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

2.2 x 3 inches
5.6 x 7.6 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 very pretty tiny leaf from an Italian Book of Hours, written in Naples. There is one large initial in gold with beautiful blue and red pen work extending into the margin, and smaller initials painted in blue or gold. The text is written in a regular gothic bookhand in brown ink with the rubrics in red. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Vespers, part of the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin, Luke 1.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $110 - $160

Sold for: $100

Closed on 12/1/2004