Auction 119, Lot 884

"[Illuminated Leaf]",

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1507 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.3 x 6.6 inches
10.9 x 16.8 cm

This Book of Hours leaf was printed by Thielman Kerver in 1507 on vellum in black and red, with many initials hand painted in red, blue and gold. On the verso is a full page image of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, while in the background is medieval Jerusalem. Around the text on the recto are iron engraved scenes from the Old and New Testament, with captions in red. These pictures explained the relationship between the Old Testament and the Life of Christ. Additional ornamental borders further enhance the page. The firm of Thielman Kerver is best known for its lovely Books of Hours, many of which include hand-painted miniatures and initial letters. Theilman Kerver, who was one of France's most prolific printers of such books, began printing Books of Hours in 1497 and continued until his death in 1522. At that time, his widow, Iolande Bonhomme, took over the firm and continued to produce liturgical books of different types until 1556. Brunet notes that even though Kerver printed many different Books of Hours, his work is less common than that of his colleagues, Simon Vostre and the Hardouins. Brunet suspects that this is because fewer copies on vellum were printed, and paper copies were destroyed. This may also account for the rarity of this leaf.


Condition: A

Lovely vellum leaf with an addition of old vellum in the corner that was added to extend the margin when it was bound.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $200

Closed on 5/9/2007