Auction 109, Lot 761

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

9.8 x 13.2 inches
24.9 x 33.5 cm

A Breviary is liturgical book used for the celebration of the Divine Office. All members of monastic orders and the clergy are committed to the daily recitation prayers, devotions and reading contained in the breviary. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Breviary 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 in a laborious manner with handmade paints and gold leaf, and masterful binders to complete the process.

A beautiful vellum leaf from a French Breviary. Written in two columns in bold gothic bookhand with four large decorative initials. Includes part of a song from the Canticle of Simeon [Luke 2, 32] Lumen ad revelationem gentium. Et gloria[m] plebis tue Israel (A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.) The leaf is numbered cccxiii (313).


Condition: B

Wide margins. One heavy crease just entering text.

Estimate: $275 - $350


Closed on 12/1/2004