Auction 97, Lot 560

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Hardouin, Gilles

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1525 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.1 x 6.4 inches
10.4 x 16.3 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.

This is a fine example of early printing with the decorations printed from metal plates. The surrounding decoration includes drolleries (fantastic creatures), including mermaids and dragons. The borders are embellished with 6 pictures from the story of Joseph. The text is from the gospel of St. John 18 : 23b.


Condition: B

Browned in outside margin with one stain intruding slightly into a vignette.

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $100

Closed on 12/5/2001