Auction 127, Lot 826

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1430 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.3 x 6 inches
10.9 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 nice vellum manuscript leaf from a French Book of Hours, likely from a scriptorium in or around Rouen. The leaf is embellished with several initials and line fillers and both side margins are decorated with ivy leaves and flowers in gold, red and blue. The text is from a Book of Hours, the Hours of the Virgin, Compline, the Canticle of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32.


Condition: A

Lightly toned

Estimate: $190 - $240

Sold for: $140

Closed on 2/25/2009