Auction 119, Lot 876

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6 inches
11.2 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.

A very high quality vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. The recto has an historiated initial with with brightly colored flowers, as well as an elaborate panel of flowers, fruit and vines in blue, gold, red and green. This text is from Luke 1; 26-38.


Condition: B

Nice, thin vellum with a coupl eo fsmal smudges and some abrasion of the gold leaf.

Estimate: $300 - $350

Sold for: $220

Closed on 5/9/2007