"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles
Subject: Early Printing
Period: 1526 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
4.5 x 7 inches
11.4 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 vellum leaf with a large iron engraving on recto of a pastoral scene with sheep, peasants dancing to a bagpipe, and angels holding aloft a blank scroll. The verso is printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red, blue and gold. The text is surrounded by elaborate scenes which are also iron engravings. This is from a Book of Hours printed on vellum by Gilles Hardouin for Germain Hardouin librayre demourant entre les deux portes du Palays en l’enseigne Saincte Marguerite (bookseller living between the two gates of the Palace at the sign of Saint Marguerite) of Paris. 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. Beginning with the large "D" on verso is the Office of Our Blessed Lady, Ad None, which translates in part as:
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father
As it was in the beginning.
Be mindful author of our health,
That thou sometime didst take on thee
Of a pure virgin being born,
The form of our humanity.
Mary that mother art of grace,
Of mercy mother also art,
Save and defend us from our foe,
Receive us when we hence depart.
Glory be unto thee O Lord,
That born was of the virgin pure,
With the father and the holy Ghost,
All ages ever to endure. Amen.
Minor marginal soiling and remnants of hinge tape on recto at top.