Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 814


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5.1 x 7.5 inches
13 x 19.1 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.

A nice vellum manuscript written in black ink with two large initials in red and blue ink with burnished gold leaf. The text is from the Office of the Holy Spirit at Compline with an allusion to the Last Judgment. Beginning with the large letter "C" on recto, the text translates in part as:

Convert us O God our Saviour.
And turn away thy wrath from us.
Incline unto my aid O God.
O Lord make haste to help me.
The spirit the comforter assist us by his might: Our steps to direct and guide to clear us with his light:
That when God at last shall come to be the judge of all. At his right hand he may please us joyfully to call.
Come O Holy Ghost, replenish the hearts of thy faithful: and kindle in them the fire of thy love.
Send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created.
And thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


Condition: A

Minor soiling.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $80

Closed on 11/15/2023