Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 921

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6.7 inches
11.2 x 17 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.

Beautifully crafted vellum leaf of a French Book of Hours, from a scriptorium in Paris or Rouen. The exquisite illuminated, burnished gold capitals have been further enhanced with elaborate and minute pen flourishes on both sides of the sheet in red, blue and black. The line fillers are especially well-done, also enhanced with burnished gold leaf.


Condition: B

Light marginal soil. One line filler on the verso is slightly smudged. Some brown ink notations in recto margin.

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $200

Closed on 3/6/2007