Catalog Archive
Auction 115, Lot 773

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


14.5 x 20.5 inches
36.8 x 52.1 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.

This beautifully decorated vellum leaf is from a French Book of Hours. The text is in a regular gothic book hand, in brown/black ink with red rubrics and several lovely initials and line fillers painted in red, blue and burnished gold leaf. The tiny pin pricks that were used to rule the leaf are visible at the margin edge. The text is from Psalm 58


Condition: A

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $350

Closed on 6/21/2006