Catalog Archive
Auction 96, Lot 529

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscript

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.2 x 5.8 inches
10.7 x 14.7 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.

From a Parisian scriptorium , this leaf is written in a Batarde book-hand, in black-brown ink . Two initials are decorated in blue, red and black, one of which also includes gold leaf. The text is a song of praise to the Virgin.


Condition: A

Couple of small smudges in margins.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $170

Closed on 9/12/2001