Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 736


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1440 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

3 x 4.3 inches
7.6 x 10.9 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 in blue and red with pen work in the margins, as well as many one-line initials in red and blue. The text is by Geert Grote, a Dutch Catholic deacon from the 14th century, and is written in Old Dutch.


Condition: B+

Light toning with minor dampstains along the edges of the leaf.

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $60

Closed on 4/24/2024