Auction 149, Lot 715

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1430 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6 inches
11.2 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 nice vellum manuscript from a French Book of Hours, in the style of a Rouen scriptorium. Written in brown and red ink, the leaf has three large initials, five small initials, and six line fillers in red and blue and burnished gold leaf, as well as a decorative panel in the margins with ivy and flowers. The text is from the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Litany of Loretto. Beginning with the large initial "C" on the recto, the text translates as:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants,
that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious
intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered form present
sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord.


Condition: B

Moderate toning and soiling.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $130

Closed on 5/21/2014