"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1450 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
5.5 x 7.5 inches
14 x 19.1 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 Book of Hours leaf was written in Normandy from a book for the Use of Coutances. The ownership of the book is attributed to Seigneur Richard du Mesnildot, Provost Royal of Coutances, 1489. The vellum leaf contains many illuminated initials and line fillers in red, blue, white and burnished gold, with a lovely floral decoration on the recto.
There is some faint discoloration of the parchment.