Catalog Archive
Auction 125, Lot 888

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Black & White

3.5 x 4.5 inches
8.9 x 11.4 cm
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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 simple vellum leaf created in Flanders, unadorned save for a couple flourishes of penwork on the verso. The text is from the New Testament, John 17 or 18.


Condition: A

Estimate: $75 - $110

Sold for: $50

Closed on 9/24/2008