Book of Hours. Paris, 1499

[BOOK OF HOURS. Latin, for Roman Use]. Printed on vellum.
Paris: Thielman Kerver for Gilles Remacle, 16 September 1499. (06780)

The most popular Christian prayer book of the Middle Ages, the Book of Hours was designed for private lay devotion at appointed times of day. Much of the success enjoyed by manuscript Books of Hours was due to their colorful illuminations of scenes from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and various locally venerated saints. Between 1475 and 1500, more than 400 different editions of Books of Hours were printed, each illustrated with metalcut or woodcut images and borders rather than illuminations. In Bridwell Library’s copy of this richly illustrated Parisian edition, a metalcut of the Annunciation introduces a set of eight illustrations for the Hours of the Virgin Mary. One of only six recorded copies, this is a rare example of a Book of Hours that survives in its original binding.

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Printing in France
Book of Hours. Paris, 1499