Catalog Archive
Auction 98, Lot 470

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.3 x 6.3 inches
10.9 x 16 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.

Lovely vellum leaf containing part of Psalm 142, verse 5 - one of the Seven Penitential Psalms. The Penitential Psalms were recited to ask for forgiveness for the dead and were also associated with the Seven Deadly Sins. The script is written in Batarde, in brown ink and illuminated with numerous initials and line fillers in red, blue and gold. The margins are decorated with large panels of acanthus leaves and flowers in bright colors.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $200

Closed on 3/6/2002