Auction 119, Lot 888

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1550 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4 x 6 inches
10.2 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.

This fine example of a printed vellum leaf is from the transitional period between manuscript and printing. This was from a Book of Hours probably created by Henry Coipel. The text is in a neat letter type in black and red, and the initials are illuminated by hand with blue, gold and red.


Condition: A

Estimate: $140 - $180


Closed on 5/9/2007