Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 815

"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1520 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5 x 7.9 inches
12.7 x 20.1 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.

This lovely Book of Hours leaf is on a buttery sheet of vellum with text printed in black and illuminated initials in red, blue and gold. This sheet is part of the calendar for May, June, July and August. Each month begins with the large illuminated initials "KL" (for Kalender), and lists the number of days in the month as well as the name day of many saints.


Condition: A

Marginal soiling.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $75

Closed on 9/4/2013