Catalog Archive
Auction 178, Lot 578


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

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.3 x 6.5 inches
10.9 x 16.5 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" on verso is Psalm 66, which translates as:

May God have mercy on us and bless us. May he shine his countenance upon us, and may he have mercy on us.
So may we know your way upon the earth, your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples confess to you, O God. Let all the peoples confess to you.
May the nations rejoice and exult. For you judge the peoples with equity, and you direct the nations on earth.
Let the peoples confess to you, O God. Let all the peoples confess to you.
The earth has provided her fruit. May God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him.


Condition: B+

Light soiling with a few smudges on recto.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $75

Closed on 6/10/2020