Auction 133, Lot 701

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.2 x 7 inches
13.2 x 17.8 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 lovely manuscript from a French Book of Hours. It is written in a regular book hand on high quality vellum with a border of acanthus leaves and flowers on the recto. A red flower adorns the center of a large, finely wrought initial, highlighted in burnished gold along with many smaller initials in red, blue, white and gold, and line fillers in the same palette. The text on the recto is from Psalm 48.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $300 - $350

Sold for: $325

Closed on 9/1/2010