Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 920

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.3 x 7.1 inches
13.5 x 18 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 leaf created in France, probably Paris. This leaf has a magnificent initial on the verso, in red, blue, white and burnished gold, leading to a panel border with forget-me-nots, gold ivy leaves on fine stems and a lovingly rendered strawberry in brilliant colors. The recto has a number of illuminated initials highlighted in sparkling gold. The text is from the Office of the Blessed Virgin, Matins, Psalm 117. .


Condition: A

A couple of light smudges. Hinge remnants on recto.

Estimate: $375 - $425

Sold for: $275

Closed on 3/6/2007