Catalog Archive
Auction 98, Lot 472

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)

Publication: Breviary


8 x 11.3 inches
20.3 x 28.7 cm
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A Breviary is liturgical book used for the celebration of the Divine Office. All members of monastic orders and the clergy are committed to the daily recitation prayers, devotions and reading contained in the breviary. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Breviary 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 in a laborious manner with handmade paints and gold leaf, and masterful binders to complete the process.

A wonderful vellum leaf from a French Breviary. The text on the recto is from the Acts, chapter 2, concerning the first Pentecost. It is finely illuminated with two large initials, four smaller initials and two line fillers, all in red, blue, white and gold leaf. The verso is decorated with one large initial and 26 smaller ones.


Condition: A+

Superb condition with the vellum being very fine and a light ivory color.

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 3/6/2002