Auction 140, Lot 873

"[Illuminated 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 from a French Book of Hours, in the style of a Rouen scriptorium. Written in brown and red ink, the leaf has two large initials and numerous small initials and line fillers in red and blue and burnished gold leaf, as well as decorative panels in the margins with ivy and flowers. The text is from Psalm 109, and starting with the large initial on the recto it begins:

Dixit Dominus domino.
meo sede a dextris meis.
Donec ponam inimicos
tuos scabellum pedum tuorum.

This translates as:
The Lord said unto my Lord: sit on my right hand,
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.


Condition: B+

Light toning and minor soiling.

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $160

Closed on 5/23/2012