"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1530 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.6 x 7 inches
11.7 x 17.8 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.
Unusual leaf printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red and blue. The text is surrounded by elaborate iron engravings that include plants and animals, including a horse, rabbits and a bat. 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. The text is from the Office of the Dead, the psalms and prayers for relatives and friends who were suffering in purgatory. Beginning with the large letter "F" on the verso, the text translates in part as:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that by our devout supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Minor foxing and dampstains along the edges of the sheet.