Littera Scripta

    Member of ANZAAB - Australia

    Antique Prints Art Early Printed Leaves Ephemera Manuscripts Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Leaves

Australia's specialist dealer in medieval and renaissance documents. Original illuminated manuscript leaves, 11th to 16th centuries.

Original printed leaves, 15th to 17th centuries.

Books of Hours, Bibles, music, liturgy, secular and sacred commentary.

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Tiny illuminated manuscript leaf from a Lady's Book of Hours.
The illuminated initial 'H' is in blues, pink and greens on a ground of burnished gold, with extensions into the margin of foliate scrolls in light & dark pink, greens, blues and finished with burnished gold bezants. The text is from "The Hours of the Cross" which marked the specific times of the day associated with the stages of Christ's Passion. Italy, c.1500, size of leaf c.80x60 mm. Very good/excellent condition.
Holinshed's Chronicle leaf. One of Shakespeare's favourite history sources.
A leaf from Holinshed's "Historie of Scotland", published in 1577, including a woodcut of King Alexander the Fierce watching the beheading of a thief. Text in English. Holinshed was Shakespeare's favourite and most trusted source and he used it for more than a third of his plays including Macbeth, King Lear, Cymbeline and the English history plays. Fair antiquarian condition only, but the text is complete and legible and the woodcut sharply printed.
Superb miniature of St. John writing the Book of Revelation on Patmos.
Comprehensive notes accompany this outstanding and highly intriguing miniature. While the leaf clearly originates from a French mid-15th century Book of Hours, the miniature was added later - 16thC?, 17thC? Noted Cambridge scholar Dr. Christopher de Hamel calls such works "Beautiful Deceptions". "Is it a forgery, hoax, joke, illusion or work of art?", he poses. "You decide". What is not in question is the quality of the miniature, the skill of its artist and its extensive surrounding illuminations. Intriguing!
Albrecht Dürer woodcut in "The Ship of Fools" titled "Of Bad Women". 1497.
A leaf from the 1497 edition by de Olpe with Dürer's woodcut perfectly complementing Brant's verse lampooning the foibles and follies of human nature. An English version of the verse reads: "In shrewdness women lead the van, Not matched are they by any men, His words she never will obey, She heeds not what he'd teach or say, For man's misfortune's often sprung, From women's loose and babbling tongue". Excellent condition on watermarked, laid paper.