Auction 112, Lot 761

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.5 x 7.7 inches
14 x 19.6 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.

Lovely vellum manuscript from a French Book of Hours. The margins of both sides are richly illuminated with tendrils of flowers and leaves in gold leaf and bright colors. The text, written in a regular book hand, includes one large and five smaller initials all painted in red, blue and gold leaf. The text is from the Office of the Dead, Matins. The large initial is the beginning of Job 7 : 16-21…


Condition: A

Bit of minor rubbing in text and some light soil in margins.

Estimate: $400 - $450

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/28/2005