Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 739


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

9.2 x 13.3 inches
23.4 x 33.8 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 large vellum leaf is written in black ink with 18 lines on each side, with one large initial surrounded by red and blue pen work. The text is from Psalm 104, which translates in part as:

Confess to the Lord, and invoke his name. Announce his works among the nations.
Sing to him, and sing psalms to him. Describe all his wonders.
Be praised in his holy name. Let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord, and be confirmed. Seek his face always.
Remember his miracles, which he has done, his portents and the judgments of his mouth:
you offspring of Abraham his servant, you sons of Jacob his elect.
He is the Lord our God. His judgments are throughout the entire earth.


Condition: B+

Light soiling.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $50

Closed on 4/24/2024