Auction 121, Lot 825

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1365 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

3.7 x 5 inches
9.4 x 12.7 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.

The text is from an early Book of Hours translated into Dutch, probably by Geert Grote (1340-1384). Most Books of Hours were in Latin at that time, but Grote thought that even lay men should be able to read religious books. The text is in black with some red lines, and initials in red or blue.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $70 - $100

Sold for: $65

Closed on 9/26/2007