"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Medieval Manuscripts
Period: 1480 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.5 x 6.2 inches
11.4 x 15.7 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.
A nice vellum manuscript written in black ink with eight small initials in red and blue ink with burnished gold leaf. The text includes part of Psalm 37, and beginning with the initial "Q" at top on recto translates as:
For in thee, O Lord, have I hoped: thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God.
For I said: Lest at any time my enemies rejoice over me: and whilst my feet are moved, they speak great things against me.
For I am ready for scourges: and my sorrow is continually before me.
For I will declare my inequity: and I will think for my sin.
But my enemies live, and are stronger that I: and they hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
They that render evil for good, have detracted me, because I followed goodness.
Forsake me not, O Lord my God: do not thou depart from me.
Attend unto my help, O Lord, the God of my salvation.
Light soiling with a small remnant of hinge tape on recto at top.