Catalog Archive
Auction 113, Lot 829

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

3.8 x 5 inches
9.7 x 12.7 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.

Rare vellum calendar leaf from a Dutch Book of Hours. The border on one side is decorated in a fountain-style array of acanthus leaves in red, green and dark blue. This decoration is often found in books illuminated by the Masters of the Haarlem Bible; these masters took their name from a three-volume bible made for the Knights of St. John in Haarlem, Holland. This leaf details the month of December beginning with the number of days and moons, followed by the saint's days (with the more important ones written in red). The large initials KL for kalender and the A initials (for Sundays) are painted in red and blue.


Condition: B

Light damp stain on top edge and soil along binding edge.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $180

Closed on 12/7/2005