"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1507 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.4 x 6.7 inches
11.2 x 17 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.
Superb vellum leaf 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. It is printed on vellum in black and red with many initials hand painted in red, blue and gold. On the verso is a large picture of the Nativity: Mary and Joseph showing their devotion, with baby Jesus on the ground and two oxen and a manger in the stable beside them. Through the windows of the stable we see two shepherds coming to pray. The ornamental border on the recto depicts scenes from the Old and New Testament with the captions in red, with those at right relating to Mark 11, 8. The first line of the prayer to Mary reads: "Ave stella matutina, mundi princeps et regina" which translates into English as: "Hail morning star, ruler and queen of the world."
Light soiling with an old vellum repair on recto to a chip in top left corner.