Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 801


"[Book of Hours Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.5 x 6.9 inches
11.4 x 17.5 cm
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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 printed in Gothic textura type with illuminated capitals in red, blue and burnished gold leaf. The text is surrounded by elaborate iron engravings that feature plants, flowers, cherubs, angels and mythical creatures, including the seven-headed dragon from Revelation. Printed vellum Book of Hours leaves are very scarce, as they were only produced between 1496 and 1530. The text includes parts of Psalms 148-150, which translates in part as:

Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.
Praise ye him for his mighty acts: praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness.
Praise him with sound of trumpet: praise him with psaltery and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and choir: praise him with strings and organs.
Praise him on high sounding cymbals: praise him on cymbals of joy:
let every spirit praise the Lord.


Condition: B+

Light toning, minor soiling, and a few minute worm holes at top.

Estimate: $130 - $160

Sold for: $275

Closed on 2/8/2023