Auction 120, Lot 822

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4 x 5.5 inches
10.2 x 14 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 delicately written leaf from a Book of Hours translated into Dutch, perhaps by Geert Groote. Most Books of Hours were written in Latin at that time, but Groote thought that even laymen should be able to read religious books. He founded the Devotio Moderna, the Broederschap des Gemenen Levens, as his movement was called in Dutch and was a great advocate of the vernacular in religious books. The vellum is very fine with text in black, red and blue.


Condition: A

A very thin, fine vellum sheet with a tiny bit of abrasion.

Estimate: $70 - $100


Closed on 7/18/2007