Auction 137, Lot 881

"[Illuminated Bifolium]", Hardouin, Gilles

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1526 (published)

Publication: Horae B.V.M. Secundumusum Romanvom

Color: Hand Color

Size:
4.5 x 7 inches
11.4 x 17.8 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.

This double-sheet vellum leaf is printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red, blue and gold on both sides. The text is surrounded by elaborate scenes which are iron engravings. The recto of the first leaf includes a miniature of the Circumcision of Jesus. This is from a Book of Hours printed by Gilles Hardouin, one of the most prominent early printers of Paris. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530.

References:

Condition: A+

There is some stray color in the blank margins, else fine.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $160

Closed on 9/14/2011

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