Auction 117, Lot 857

"[Illuminated leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1460 (circa)

Publication:

Color: Hand Color

Size:
4.8 x 6.4 inches
12.2 x 16.3 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 is a very pretty leaf from a French Book of Hours. The creamy white sheet of fine vellum is beautifully written in brown ink with several illuminated initials and line fillers and superb floral panels on both sides. The wide panels contain ivy leaves on hairline stems, flowers, berries and leaves, in bright colors and burnished gold leaf.

References:

Condition: A+

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $325

Closed on 12/6/2006

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