Auction 171, Lot 748


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

2.9 x 3.8 inches
7.4 x 9.7 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.

Lovely vellum leaf from a Book of Hours created in Bruges, written in regular batarde script. This leaf has magnificent initials on the recto and the verso in red, blue, white and burnished gold with pen work in the margin on the recto. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Vespers, beginning with Psalm 112, which translates into English as:

[Our Lord is high above all nations] and his glory above the heavens. Who is as the Lord our God that dwelleth on high: and beholdeth the humble things in heaven and earth? Raising up the needy from the earth: and lifting up the poor out of the dung...


Condition: A

Minor marginal toning.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $100

Closed on 2/6/2019