Auction 133, Lot 699

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 6.3 inches
11.4 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.

A beautiful vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. It is written in a regular Gothic book hand with numerous illuminated initials and line fillers and borders of acanthus leaves and flowers on both sides. The large initial on the verso includes a tiny flower. The text includes Psalms 12 and 42.


Condition: A

There is some soil in the margins.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $200

Closed on 9/1/2010