Auction 123, Lot 813

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6 inches
11.2 x 15.2 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 French vellum leaf with lovely borders of acanthus leaves and tiny flowers on both sides, painted in colors of green, red, blue, and burnished gold. The recto has a fine illuminated capital 'D' beginning the name of God, with two little strawberries inside. The verso has a capital 'E' filled with tiny ivy leaves.


Condition: A

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $350

Closed on 2/20/2008