Auction 148, Lot 786

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.2 x 6 inches
10.7 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 fine vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, written in Angers on the Loire River. This region was well known for the many workshops for Books of Hours. Many masters who worked there became famous, including Jouvenel, Robinet Tesard and the Master of the Geneva Boccaccio. This leaf has several initials and one line filler in red, blue and gold. The text is in French, which was unusual for a Book of Hours at the end of the Middle Ages, when most Books of Hours were in Latin.


Condition: A

Minor marginal soiling with a few minute worm holes only visible when held to light.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $80

Closed on 2/19/2014