Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 728

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1430 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6 inches
11.2 x 15.2 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 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 one large initial, four small initials, and three line fillers in red and blue and burnished gold leaf, as well as a decorative panel in the margin of the verso with ivy and flowers. The text is from a Book of Hours, Matins; beginning with the second small initial on the recto, the text translates as:

Hail Mary, full of grace: our Lord is with thee.
Today if ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the
provocation according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your
fathers tempted me: proved, and saw my works.
Our Lord is with thee.
Forty years was I nigh unto this generation: and said, they always err in
heart: and they have not known my ways, to whom I swear in my wrath, if they
shall enter into my rest.
Hail Mary, full of grace: our Lord is with thee.


Condition: B

Moderate toning and soiling with one small tear at right.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $100

Closed on 9/17/2014