Auction 121, Lot 828

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.3 x 7 inches
13.5 x 17.8 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 fine vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in a regular Gothic bookhand. The leaf has a panel border on the verso with gold leaves, flowers and strawberries in vibrant colors. The text is written in black ink, the rubrics are in red. At the bottom of the verso is a catchword. The are two large initials with delicate paintings of flowers inside on a gold background.


Condition: A

The vellum is clean and creamy with some minor abrasion of the gold on the verso.

Estimate: $475 - $550

Sold for: $325

Closed on 9/26/2007