Catalog Archive
Auction 198, Lot 698


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.4 x 6.2 inches
11.2 x 15.7 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.

A nice vellum manuscript written in black ink with two large initials and numerous small initials in red and blue ink with burnished gold leaf. The text includes part of Psalm 121, and beginning with the initial "S" on recto at top, translates as:

Our feet were standing in your courts, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem has been built as a city, whose participation is unto itself.
For to that place, the tribes ascended, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to confess to the name of the Lord.
For in that place, seats have sat down in judgment, seats above the house of David.
Petition for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem, and for abundance for those who love you.
Let peace be in your virtue, and abundance in your towers.
For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors, I spoke peace about you.
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I sought good things for you.


Condition: B+

Light toning and soiling. The black ink is faded in some spots.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $60

Closed on 6/19/2024