Auction 134, Lot 740

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)



5 x 7 inches
12.7 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 very high quality vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. The parchment is thin and creamy white with a wide panel of flowers and leaves in red, blue, green and gold. The recto is decorated with five illuminated initials and a line-filler. The verso contains a large initial with flowers painted inside it. The text is from Psalm 24.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $300 - $350

Sold for: $300

Closed on 12/1/2010