Auction 154, Lot 758

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1430 (circa)

Publication:

Color: Hand Color

Size:
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 four large initials and four small initials in red and blue and burnished gold leaf, as well as a decorative panel in the margin with ivy and flowers. The text is from the Horae Sanctae Crucis (Hours of the Holy Cross), and translates in part as:

To the Cross Christ nailed was the sixth hour of the day,
And there hanging with two thieves reputed was as they:
Thirsting by torments made with gall they seek to slake:
Mocked was the Lamb while He our guilt on Him did take.

References:

Condition: B+

Light toning and soiling.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $110

Closed on 9/16/2015

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