Catalog Archive

Auction 99, Lot 571

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4 x 6.5 inches
10.2 x 16.5 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 fine leaf from a Book of Hours, written in France. The text is written in Batarde with initials and line fillers decorated with blue, red and gold. The margins are beautifully illuminated with wide panels of flowers and acanthus leaves. The text is from Psalm 94, beginning at verse 2 (Psalm 95 in KJV).


Condition: A

Minor soil in blank margins.

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $350

Closed on 6/12/2002