Art: Books of the Centuries

Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art this week took the wrappings off a handsome Christmas gift to itself: two superbly hand-illuminated medieval Books of Hours, almost as fresh as the day they were painted, which experts value together at $250,000. One, made to order sometime before 1413 for Jean, Duke of Berry and Prince of France, includes 94 full-page illustrations which the Met terms "a whole gallery of medieval paintings." The other, a minute volume (2⅜ in. by 3½ in.), was made to fit a queen's hand, probably that of Jeanne d'Evreux, third wife...

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