Auction 126, Lot 822

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.7 x 6.3 inches
11.9 x 16 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.

Fine vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in either a Paris or Rouen scriptorium. It is written in a neat, regular script in brown ink with red rubrics. The verso is beautifully illuminated with a large initial 'Q' with elaborate pen work, gold ivy leaves on hairline stems, flowers, berries and green leaves extending to fill the margins. The text is from the Office of the Dead, the psalms and prayers for relatives and friends who were suffering in purgatory, Job 14.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $230

Closed on 12/3/2008