Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 736

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.1 x 5.8 inches
10.4 x 14.7 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.

Superb vellum leaf with text in a bold gothic book hand with three illuminated initials in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf. The recto includes a fine floral panel featuring a mythical animal painted in a multitude of colors and gold leaf. The text includes parts of Psalm 41 and 42, and beginning with the large S on recto translates as:

Hope in God, for I will still praise Him, The Salvation of my countenance, and my God.
My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?


Condition: B+

A bright sheet with minor soiling and an abrasion in the decorative border at bottom right.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $300

Closed on 2/7/2024