Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 737

Hand-Colored Vignettes of Saints

"[Illuminated Manuscript]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.6 x 6.4 inches
11.7 x 16.3 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.

This vellum leaf features three hand-colored vignettes of Saint Peter, Saint Francis, and Saint Christopher highlighted in burnished gold leaf. The text also includes several initials with red and blue pen work and highlighted in gold. The text includes the Commemoration of St Peter during all feasts of St Paul, which translates as:

O God, who in delivering to thy blessed Apostle
Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven didst confer
on him the pontifical power of binding and loosing:
grant that by the help of his intercession we may be
set free from the bonds of our sins.


Condition: B+

Light soiling and toning.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $475

Closed on 4/24/2024