Showing posts from January, 2018

pre1700 books

Yesterday I gave my first presentation to a CMU class about pre-1700 books- both printed and manuscripts.

This is our magnificent Book of Hours, circa 1490s from France. It is a handwritten, hand crafted volume of velum pages, hand decorated with gilding and crushed gemstones providing the colored letters and decoration. It is a gorgeous example of an illuminated manuscript made for a Lady. This Roman Catholic prayer book was an emblem of power and prestige. Many sheep died to make this book, and many monks labored page by page to write and decorate the pages, one page at a time.  If the Lord and Lady who owned it actually could read Latin, they would have read it themselves to pray and also to teach their children to read and learn their prayers. This book was created some 50 years or so after the invention of the printing press, when books were being created both by hand and increasingly by presses.

Here is our Martin Luther volume, Luther the German priest, writer, composer, and …

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