Auction 111, Lot 732

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)



5.5 x 7.5 inches
14 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.

A wonderfully decorated vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. Both sides are richly embellished with tendrils of brightly colored flowers and small leaves and the text is embellished with six large initials in red, blue and gold. The text is from the Suffrages of Many Saints with prayers to St. Luke, St. Barnabe and St. Matthew.


Condition: A

Minor soil and slight rubbing of gold leaf.

Estimate: $400 - $450

Sold for: $300

Closed on 6/8/2005