"[Lot of 2 - Illuminated Leaves]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1450 (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.
This pair of vellum leaves come from a Dutch Book of Hours. The verso of the first sheet is decorated with one large initial in blue and burnished gold, and decorative flowers and leaves in the margins in green and burnished gold. Both sheets have several small initials in red and blue. The text is from the Hours of the Cross.