Catalog Archive
Auction 177, Lot 752


"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1500 (published)


Color: Hand Color

4 x 6.6 inches
10.2 x 16.8 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.

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 "L" at top on recto is Psalm 145, which translates as:

My soul praise thou our Lord, I will praise our Lord in my life: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be.
Put not confidence in Princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit shall go forth, and shall return into his earth: in that day all their cogitations shall perish.
Blessed is he whose God of Jacob is his helper his hope in our Lord his God: which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.
Which keepeth truth forever, doth judgement for them that suffer wrong, giveth food to the hungry.
Our Lord looseth the fettered: our Lord lighteneth the blind.
Our Lord lifteth up the bruised: our Lord loveth the just.
Our Lord keepeth strangers, the fatherless and widow he will receive: and the ways of sinners he shall destroy.
Our Lord shall reign forever, thy God O Sion: in generation and generation.


Condition: A

Light marginal toning and soiling with a few small chips along the binding edge.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $85

Closed on 4/29/2020