Auction 171, Lot 746


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 6 inches
11.4 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.

Superb vellum leaf with text is in a bold gothic book hand with one large illuminated 3-line initial, several smaller intials, and line fillers in red, blue and burnished gold leaf. The borders are decorated on both recto and verso with fine floral panels painted in a multitude of colors and gold leaf.


Condition: A

Minor toning and soiling in the margins with an ink smudge on recto at bottom right.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $275

Closed on 2/6/2019