Auction 140, Lot 876

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1460 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.8 x 7.5 inches
12.2 x 19.1 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.

Nice vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in brown and blue ink. The leaf is illuminated on both sides with numerous initials and line fillers in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. The text is surrounded on three sides by an elaborate geometric border with a floral design.


Condition: B+

A few minute worm holes only visible when held to light, some light rubbing, and a minor damp stain in bottom right corner.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $275

Closed on 5/23/2012