Auction 96, Lot 519

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscript

Period: 1400 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.5 x 6.2 inches
11.4 x 15.7 cm

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.

Fine sheet of vellum from a French Book of Hours. Written in a Gothic book-hand with 2 initials in red, blue, white and gold. The text contains a verse from Job 10 and is part of the Office of the Dead, which contained prayers to free their loved ones from purgatory.


Condition: A

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $100

Closed on 9/12/2001