"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (published)
Color: Hand Color
4.3 x 6.7 inches
10.9 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.
A rare vellum leaf from a Book of Hours, made during the transitional period when printing and illumination were combined. The printers at that time used the same type of letters that were used by the scribes, so the result looked like a manuscript. The initials, line fillers and border were then added by hand. This leaf includes numerous initials and line fillers, as well as a superb border decoration with leaves, flowers and scrolls. Beginning with the large initial "D" half-way down on the verso is the prayer to St. Roch, which was believed to protect against the plague.
Light toning and soiling.