"[Three Bifolia from Book of Hours]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1526 (published)
Publication: Horae B.V.M. Secundumusum Romanvorn
Color: Hand Color
3.7 x 6.3 inches
9.4 x 16 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.
Unusual vellum leaves printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red, blue and gold. The text is surrounded by elaborate scenes which are iron engravings and include the publisher's initials at bottom. This is from a Book of Hours printed on vellum by Gilles Hardouin for Germain Hardouin librayre demourant entre les deux portes du Palays en l’enseigne Saincte Marguerite (bookseller living between the two gates of the Palace at the sign of Saint Marguerite) of Paris. These leaves are from the transitional period when the new technology of printing with movable type was combined with the more labor intensive methods of hand painting. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530. These three bifolia are still connected with the original string.
There is a minor green smudge in the margin, else fine.