Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 923

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscript

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 6 inches
11.4 x 15.2 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.

Beautiful vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written around 1470 in or near Rouen. The leaf is beautifully illuminated on both sides with capitals in blue, red, white and burnished gold, bordered with delicately painted flowers with brilliant colors. Still as brilliantly colored as it was over 500 years ago. From the Office of the Dead, Matins, Psalm 24.


Condition: B

A few small stains, gold slightly abraded, still very good.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $100

Closed on 3/6/2007