Auction 123, Lot 807

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

3.5 x 5 inches
8.9 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.

This delicately crafted vellum leaf was created in France during the Middle Ages. There are two illuminated capitals on the recto in blue, red and gold. On the verso is a large capital 'G' adorned with the head of a woman and a winged monster biting its claw. This decoration is precisely drawn but uncolored.


Condition: B+

A little damp stain on the recto.

Estimate: $200 - $275

Sold for: $150

Closed on 2/20/2008