Auction 140, Lot 888

"[Book of Hours Leaf - Raising of Lazarus]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 7.5 inches
11.4 x 19.1 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 superb vellum leaf is from this important transitional period when books began to be printed from movable type, decorated with metal-cut illustrations and combined with hand-painted illuminated initials. The recto depicts the Raising of Lazarus from the Gospel of John, surrounded by en elaborate architectural border illuminated in gold. The verso is printed in Gothic textura type in black ink with many initials hand painted in red, blue and gold, surrounded by delicately engraved vignettes and decorative elements. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530.


Condition: A

Original hand color with gilt highlights, marginal soiling and a few minute worm holes only visible when held to light.

Estimate: $475 - $550


Closed on 5/23/2012