Catalog Archive
Auction 114, Lot 698

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 6 inches
11.4 x 15.2 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.

Fine vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours from a scriptorium in or near Rouen. The text is written in a regular bookhand with splendid marginal illuminations of flowers and leaves in bright colors. There are numerous decorative initials and line fillers on both sides painted in red, blue and burnished gold. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, None, the Psalm 125 and part of 126.


Condition: A

Estimate: $550 - $600

Sold for: $375

Closed on 3/1/2006