Printed & hand illuminated Hours leaf, c. 1505


Intricate metal cuts of cherubs, demons, flowers, a bird & a dragon


Verso:  Text in Latin printed on velllum in a Gothic font.  Many coloured initials added by hand after the printing. Border illustrations include cherubs, demons, flowers, a bird & a dragon.


Recto:  As Verso with further coloured initials and different metal-cut borders.


Origin:  Paris


Date:   c.1505


Content: The text on Verso, beginning on the first line with the red & gold initial ‘L’ is from Verse 7 of Psalm 148 (KJV149) Laudate Dominum de terra dracones et omnes abyssi; Ignis et grando nix et glacies ventus turbo quae facitis sermonem eius. Montes et omnes colles lignum fructiferum et universae cedri; bestiae et omnia iumenta reptilia et aves volantes.  (Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all ye deeps: Fire, hail, snow, ice, stormy winds, which fulfil his word. Mountains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars: Beasts and all cattle: creeping things and flying fowl).  


Condition:  The leaf is in fine condition with minor edge browning which is masked off by the mat.. The text and engravings are sharply printed. It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes:  This leaf is from the intriguing transitional period when Books of Hours began to be printed from movable type.  To mimic the appearance of manuscript works, they were decorated with metal-cut illustrations and had hand-painted illuminated initials added to the printed page.  Rather than being printed on paper, it is printed on the more traditional & prestigious vellum.


Simon Vostre (1486-1518) printed and published in Paris at the sign of St. John the Evangelist on the Rue Neuve Notre Dame, the “new street” leading to the great cathedral begun in 1164 by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris. The Rue Neuve served as the centre of the commercial book trade from its beginnings through to the appearance of print in the late 15th century.


For his printed Books of Hours, Vostre, together with Philip Pigouchet, designed a series of metal cuts to decorate the borders of the pages.  Among them were histories of the saints, biblical figures, even caricatures directed against Churchmen, after the manner of the old sculptors, who thought that sin was rendered more horrible in the garb of a monk. Nestled in the borders amongst acanthus leaves were, amongst many images,  fantastic animals, musicians, birds, “grotesques” (half men, half beasts), peasants working and hunting and saints piously praying.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 170x110 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  150x95 mm.  Archivally mounted, ready to frame.  Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia: $20. Overseas: ask for quote.


Stock No: PSA095

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