Auction 140, Lot 875

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (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.

This lovely leaf is from a French Book of Hours written in regular Gothic lettering on a fine sheet of buttery, white vellum in black and red ink. The sheet is embellished with numerous decorative initials and a line filler illuminated in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. Decorative panels on both sides are painted with colorful leaves, fruit and flowers.

References:

Condition: A

Marginal soiling and a couple of minute worm hole in top blank margin.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $150

Closed on 5/23/2012

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