Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 744

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.3 x 5.9 inches
10.9 x 15 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 two large and three small initials and one line filler in red, blue and gold. The text is from Psalm 141 and translates in part as:

Flight hath failed me: and there is no one that hath regard to my soul.
I cried to thee, O Lord: I said: Thou art my hope, my portion in the land of the living.


Condition: A

Minor marginal soiling with a couple of tiny holes only visible when held to light.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $80

Closed on 5/20/2015