Catalog Archive
Auction 123, Lot 808

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)


Color: Black & White

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.

A delicately crafted vellum leaf, created in France during the Middle Ages, and drawn in brown ink. The verso has a capital 'L' created from a dog's head and knot work, somewhat like a Celtic illumination. Just above that capital is a 'D' with a tiny face drawn inside of it.


Condition: B+

A few marginal stains, not affecting the text.

Estimate: $110 - $150

Sold for: $275

Closed on 2/20/2008