"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Kerver, Thielman
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1500 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.9 x 8.1 inches
12.4 x 20.6 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 Parisian 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 a superb border decoration with leaves, flowers and scrolls. Beginning at the top of the sheet on recto is part of Psalm 120, which translates as:
The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy protection upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not burn thee by day: nor the moon by night.
The Lord keepeth thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul.
May the Lord keep thy going in and thy going out; from henceforth now and for ever.
Light soiling with several clean cuts at left in the blank margin.