MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH DRAGON
Measurements: Length – 18.4 cm, width – 12.8 cm
Description: A beautifully decorated vellum leaf from a Medieval Book of Hours, containing one single column of 14 lines, ruled in red, of written text in Latin. The text is a fine example of the popular Medieval and Renaissance gothic book-hand script, used extensively for French vernacular books, known as lettre bâtarde. The leaf is executed in red, white and blue tempera, and liquid gold on both sides. The manuscript is further enriched to one side with a finely rendered decoration, composed of foliate, acanthus leaves and the depiction of a small dragon. In Medieval iconography depictions of dragons were extremely popular. Dragons served as symbols, heraldic devices, and even as simple decoration motif.
The Book of Hours is a book of Christian devotion, which evolved from the psalter. It gained popularity during the Middle Ages, and typically consisted of psalms, prayers, and other devotional texts. It is the most common surviving type of manuscript, but each copy was unique – whether on account of a different selection of texts, or different decoration. As a result, books of this type offer some of the most interesting examples of medieval calligraphy and decorative practice.
Period: Paris, France, late 14th century.
Condition: Extremely fine.