Facsimile edition of the Leber 155 manuscript of the Municipal Library of Rouen, Grandes Horas de Rouen, carried out in 2015 in a numbered edition, limited to 505 copies and notarized.
Original dated 1503, of French origin, illuminated in Antoine Vërard’s workshop.
Bound in green velvet lined wood with 2 silver metal clasps and a central medallion with the image of the Holy Family. Format 18.5 x 25 cm. 212 lavishly illustrated pages. Written in Latin and French.
Presented the facsimile in a book-type box-case, plain spine, in editorial leather with embossed gilding. Format 22 x 29.5 x 7 cm.
Accompanied by the corresponding study book, bound in illustrated hardcover, format 24.8 x 32.2 cm.
The Great Hours of Rouen, preserved in the Municipal Library of Rouen, is undoubtedly the masterpiece of the famous French publisher-bookseller Antoine Vérard.
Antoine Vérard directed a workshop in Paris between 1485 and 1512, in which, on the one hand, luxurious manuscripts were calligraphed and illuminated, and on the other, books were printed in which illustration played a leading role. Woodcut prints came to play an essential role in a highly successful workshop. The copies destined for illustrious characters were printed on parchment and subsequently illuminated profusely, resulting in true unique and exclusive jewels that helped spread the taste for illustrated books in France.
The Great Hours of Rouen are a clear example of the exceptional quality and richness of Verard’s books.
Despite the lack of typographic data, as it lacks a cover and colophon, it was probably printed in the early sixteenth century. The typeface used is of great perfection, an elegant Gothic font. Among the printed pages we find at the beginning and almost at the end of the book some manuscript texts.
Around the text stands out the large number of woodcuts that showily embellish the book. This outstanding use of ornamentation is typical of Verard’s books of hours. The illustrations that start each sequence stand out, such as the Annunciation (f.15r), the Encounter of San Joaquín and Santa Ana and the Visitation (f.19r), the Circumcision (f.34v), Santiago Apóstol (f. 52v), and San Jorge (f.106v), among others.
The headboards of the Great Hours of Rouen have been decorated with floral motifs, usually sky-blue, red or golden acanthus leaves. On the other hand, a large number of hand miniature initials adorn the printed text. They stand out for their beauty and size, the initials that begin the sequences and hours of the Office of the Parvo.
The illuminated initials are an ornamental element that highlights the value of these rich Hours and that also served to facilitate the monitoring of the reading.
Due to the interest that there was at the time to know the influence that the stars exerted on people, in the printed Books of Hours the engraving of Astral Man is incorporated. In the Great Hours of Rouen it is found on page 3r. The position of the sun and planets at the time of a person’s birth had a direct impact on their temperament. Furthermore, each member of the human body was related to a zodiac sign.
On the other hand, it is worth noting the engraving of San Roque (f.6v), incorporated in addition to this sumptuous codex.
The hallmark of the copy kept in the Municipal Library of Rouen is the luxury that emanates from each of its pages. The beauty of the types and the numerous and perfect engravings that illustrate it make this Book of Hours a coveted representation of the most perfect printed works of its time.
The arts of the manuscript are combined with the new techniques of printing, making this copy a unique and singular volume.
Unused specimen, in perfect condition.
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