Auction 139, Lot 743

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Manuscripts

Period: 1570 (circa)

Publication:

Color: Hand Color

Size:
4.5 x 6.5 inches
11.4 x 16.5 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 wonderful vellum leaf from a Book of Hours written in Paris in the latter part of the 16th century. This is one of the last Books of Hours, as their value was declared null by Pius V in 1568. The scribe used dark brown ink and wrote in fine, Roman script, possibly trying to imitate printed type. There is one large initial with green leaves on a gold background, with numerous other smaller initials and line fillers in red, blue and gold. The large initial is the beginning of Psalm 24.

References:

Condition: A+

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $150

Closed on 2/15/2012

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