Catalog Archive

Auction 109, Lot 772

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles

Subject: Printed Leaves

Period: 1510 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

5.7 x 9 inches
14.5 x 22.9 cm

This leaf is from the brief transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. The earliest printers were trained in the manuscript tradition and incorporated the conventions of historiated initials and illustrations into their early work. At first they left those spaces blank for the illuminator to complete entirely by hand. Later they developed printing methods (using woodcuts or iron engravings) to decorate the leaves.

A large vellum leaf from a Book of Hours produced during the transitional period when both manuscript and printing methods were employed. The text was printed from moveable type that was designed to emulate the medieval scribes and the panels of illustrations were printed from metal plates. However the illuminated initials and miniature paintings inside the text were painted by hand in the traditional manner. This leaf contains four hand-painted illustrations: St. Anthony with the boar, St. Anna teaching her daughter Mary to read, Mary Magdalena with the ointment and St. Katherina reading scripture.


Condition: A+

Tiny spot of candle wax, still overall very fine.

Estimate: $600 - $700


Closed on 12/1/2004