Book of Hours leaf printed on vellum, metal cut illustrations

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 A superior Vostre edition c. 1512. 


 Metal cuts of a grotesque, angels, dragons, the Tiburtine Sibyl


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, the finer editions were printed on vellum rather than paper, decorated with metal-cut illustrations and had hand-painted coloured initials added to the printed page.

Recto:  Text in Latin and French printed on quality vellum in a gothic bâtarde font.  Two two-line hand painted initials alternating in blue and red. Metal cuts include dragons and other fanciful beasts, putti & angels and scenes of a couple mounted on a horse and a woman praying in front of a representation of the Madonna and Child.  The text beneath these scenes is in French rhyming couplets.


Verso:  As Recto, with another hand painted initial and further metal cuts including the Tiburtine Sibyl and a grotesque playing a stringed instrument. 


Printer:   Simon Vostre, Paris


Date:  c. 1512


Content:  The blue initial ‘O’ on Recto begins a prayer in Latin: Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui angelum tuum de celo misisti ab ostio monumenti saxum magnum…

(Almighty, everlasting God, who sent your angel from the heavens to move the great stone of the sepulchre…)

Then follows in French “a very devout prayer to God the Father” Mon benoist dieu ie croy de cueur et confesse de bouche tout ce que saincte eglise croit…..


Condition:  The leaf is in excellent condition, sharply printed on vellum and finished with hand decoration.   It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  This is a larger leaf than Vostre’s usual editions: approx. 225x140 mm. Printed area : approx.  190x115 mm.


Notes: 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 fantastic animals, birds, “grotesques” (half men, half beasts), and saints piously praying.

Item No:  PSA115

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