Catalog Archive
Auction 94, Lot 458

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Vostre, Simon

Subject: Incunabula

Period: 1500 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.4 x 7.2 inches
11.2 x 18.3 cm
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A fine example of early printing on vellum, which was popular for only a short period of time because paper became the new material for printing books at the end of the 15th century. The text is surrounded by uncolored metal engravings in which are depicted St. Luke writing the gospel with a cow at his feet, Ursula among 11,000 virgins, and a ‘drollery’, a mythical animal, half hare, half snail, riding a dragon. Most peculiar is the prayer to the 11,000 virgins. The legend relates that Ursula, the daughter of a British king, went to the Holy Land and was murdered near Cologne with XIMV (11,000) virgins. This was confused in translation and the real meaning is "undecim martyres virgines" (eleven virgin martyrs). This is also a fine example of the combination of early printing and illumination; with five hand painted initials in red, blue and liquid gold.


Condition: A

One initial on verso slightly smudged else fine.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $230

Closed on 3/7/2001