Auction 121, Lot 830

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1460 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.7 x 6.4 inches
11.9 x 16.3 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.

Delicately illuminated vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in a regular Gothic hand. The leaf has an elaborate panel border on both sides with beautiful renderings of ivy leaves, flowers and fruit in brilliant colors with highlights in burnished gold. The text is filled with large initials painted in blue, white and gold.


Condition: A

There is a small stain in upper margin, well away from text.

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $160

Closed on 9/26/2007