Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 688


"[Illuminated Leaf]",

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1440 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

2.9 x 4.2 inches
7.4 x 10.7 cm
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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 likely created in Delft. This leaf has a couple of two-line initials and many one-line initials illuminated in blue and red with pen work in the margins. The text is by Geert Grote, a Dutch Catholic deacon from the 14th century, and is written in Old Dutch. The text includes part of Psalm 92, which translates in part as:

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.
The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-- the Lord on high is mighty.
Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord.


Condition: B+

Light toning with dampstains along the edges of the leaf.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $120

Closed on 11/16/2022