Auction 96, Lot 528

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscript

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4 x 5.7 inches
10.2 x 14.5 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.

A very fine vellum leaf written in the style common in Flanders during the mid 15th century. The text is part of the Hours of the Virgin, the Compline, the last prayers of the day. It includes Psalm 130 (King James 131). There are 2 large and 11 small initials and 6 line fillers all executed in red, blue, white and gold leaf. The text is written in a very neat Gothic book hand in light brown ink, with 2 rubrics in red. Six of the initials include a decoration in the margin.


Condition: A

Some minor abrasion on verso.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $170

Closed on 9/12/2001