Catalog Archive
Auction 198, Lot 700


"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1490 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.6 x 6.8 inches
11.7 x 17.3 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.

Superb vellum leaf from a Book of Hours with the text in a bold gothic book hand with eleven illuminated initials and six line fillers in red, blue and burnished gold ink. The text includes part of Psalm 64 and beginning with the capital "E" on recto translates as:

Hear us, O God our saviour, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and in the sea afar off.
Thou who preparest the mountains by thy strength, being girded with power:
Who troublest the depth of the sea, the noise of its waves. The Gentiles shall be troubled,
And they that dwell in the uttermost borders shall be afraid at thy signs: thou shalt make the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to be joyful.
Thou hast visited the earth, and hast plentifully watered it; thou hast many ways enriched it. The river of God is filled with water, thou hast prepared their food: for so is its preparation.
Fill up plentifully the streams thereof, multiply its fruits; it shall spring up and rejoice in its showers.
Thou shalt bless the crown of the year of thy goodness: and thy fields shall be filled with plenty.
The beautiful places of the wilderness shall grow fat: and the hills shall be girded about with joy,
The rams of the flock are clothed, and the vales shall abound with corn: they shall shout, yea they shall sing a hymn.


Condition: A+

A bright leaf with just a hint of marginal soiling.

Estimate: $180 - $210

Sold for: $90

Closed on 6/19/2024