"[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 one large initial, seven 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 Psalm 109; beginning with the third small initial on the verso, the text translates as:
The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.
The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.
With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.
The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.
The Lord at thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall judge among nations, he shall fill ruins: he shall crush the heads in the land of the many.
He shall drink of the torrent in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
Moderate toning and soiling with one small hole at bottom right.