15th and 16th Centuries
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Officium Beatae Marie Virginis.  Book of Hours, use of Rome. 
Northern Italy, 15th century.  9 x 11 cm. 

This small Book of Hours, in Latin, has two full page illuminations. The opening depicts David kneeling in prayer. 

Rare Book Room, Denison Library

[See also the late 15th century Dutch book of hours (below) for a similar example of this type of devotional literature.  For a 19th century revival of the book of hours see the Livre de Prieres from 1886.]

 
 
Book of Hours, Dutch.
Northern Netherlands, late 15th century.  10 x 14 cm. 

This prayer book is illuminated in the rich colors, in this case reddish orange and green, typical of Dutch penwork in manuscripts. 

Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library

[See also the 15th century book of hours, use of Rome (above) for a similar example of this type of devotional literature.  For a 19th century revival of the book of hours see the Livre de Prieres from 1886.]

 
 


Picture of Pythagoras

Aritmetica by Filippo Calandri. 
Florence, Lorenzo Morgiani with Johannes Petri, 1 January 1491/1492. 11 x 14 cm. 

“With a title page picture of Pythagoras teaching, this is the first Italian arithmetic with illustrations accompanying the problems.  Calandri was also the first to show the operation of long division in the familiar modern form of the staircase-type notation.” 

Herbert Clark Hoover Collection of Mining and Metallurgy, Sprague Library

 
 
Distillirbuch by Hieronymus Brunschwig. 
Strasbourg, Johann (Reinhard) Gruninger, 1500.  22 x 29 cm. 

This early printed book is lavishly illustrated with 298 woodcuts, many with ornamental borders, of plants, animals, distilling apparatus, etc. 

“This famous early pharmaceutical-technical handbook by a surgeon from Strasbourg, along with his companion work on surgery, were important links in medicine as it developed out of the Middle Ages.  The present work tells how to use distillation to separate the active principles of medicinal agents found in plants, herbs, and in such things as ants, frogs, oxblood and flies.  As Professor John Stillman said in 1924 these distilled waters were quite a radical innovation upon the conventional medieval practice.” 

Herbert Clark Hoover Collection of Mining and Metallurgy, Sprague Library

 
 
Aesop’s Fables.
La Fabule di Esopo latine—volgare dove si vede mirabilissimi e notandi amaestramenti… 
Venice, Augustinum de Bindonis, 1554.  11 x 15 cm. 

Rare Book Room, Denison Library

[See also 
Recueil de Fables d’Esope et autres mythologistes mises en vers par La Fontaine omees de gravures par Augustin Legrand; Paris, Balleu, 1799.  Each of these versions of Aesop’s Fables, printed nearly 250 years apart, is open to an illustration of “The Ass and the Little Dog.”]

 
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