Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 805

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1485 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.7 x 6.5 inches
11.9 x 16.5 cm
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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 nice vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours illuminated with initials and line fillers beautifully painted in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. The large initial at the top of the verso is decorated with tiny painting of flowers. Each side is embellished with colorful floral panels. The text comes from Psalm 50.


Condition: B+

Light soiling with a few minute worm holes and some stains on the sheet's edge.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $230

Closed on 9/4/2013