Auction 97, Lot 544

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


2.6 x 3.7 inches
6.6 x 9.4 cm

George Bickham was on the most famous calligraphers of the 18th century. He specialized in copy books and business texts. In 1733 Bickham produced the Universal Penman, which was designed as a practical penmanship instruction and copy-book for the Man of Business. In addition to the plates designed by Bickham, this monumental anthology included the work of 25 contemporary writing masters. These engravings cover a myriad of subjects from poetry and song, festivities, commerce, script pictures, cherubs, griffins, alphabets, decorative panels, cartouches, and calligraphic flourishes, etc. Bickham also published The British Monarchy, which is a collection of 188 plates of historical notes with 43 plates of views of English and Welsh counties. They are called views rather than maps although they are presented as map-like perspectives with major towns marked. Bickham's son, George Bickham, Jr., was also a calligrapher and engraver and worked with his father on several of his publications.

A very small leaf from a Book of Hours, written on vellum in Flanders or The Netherlands in the mid 15th century. The text is written in littera textualis, in dark brown ink, with some initials in red and blue, but the overall impression is austere. The text is from the Office of the Dead [Psalm 5], the Matins, sung very early in the morning.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $110

Closed on 12/5/2001