Auction 111, Lot 727

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)



5.2 x 8.3 inches
13.2 x 21.1 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.

Superb vellum leaf with very wide margins from a French Book of Hours. The text is in a bold gothic book hand with rubrics in red and blue. The verso is illuminated with nine initials and seven line fillers painted in blue, red, white and liquid gold. Both sides include fine floral panels. In the lower margin is the catch word humiliata. A catch word was written on the last leaf of a quire (or gathering of leaves) to assist the binder in assembling the correct sequence of quires for the book. The text is from the Seven Penitential Psalms, psalm 50.


Condition: A+

Light soil in margins.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $600

Closed on 6/8/2005