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20th Century Hand-Illuminated Book

Today’s gorgeous and unusual find is this hand-illuminated book. Not much appears to be known about it, but it’s just stunning (An illuminated manuscript is any manuscript whose text is accompanied by decoration. It originally referred only to silver or gilt adornments, but came to be acceptable terminology for any manuscript with drawings, paintings or decorations such as ornate initials, borders, floral accoutrements and the like).

From the bookseller’s description:

An undated volume, probably from the mid 1920’s. A large folio covered in royal purple velvet, bevelled boards, with brass edges and ornamental brass initials on the upper cover. Bottom of spine is frayed with about 1/2″ of cloth missing. . An elaborately-crafted volume of nine small photogravure prints surrounded by hand-colored illumination. Each page is mounted on heavy matte board framing the scene. All edges heavily gilt. Mattes edged in gilt. The gravures depict various religious themes, each plate protected by interleaved pages. The illumination is quite appealing, displaying a sensitive use of colors. The borders range from intertwined foliage and miniatures to rather simple Gothic window frame decorations. This is a one-of-a-kind volume, illuminations signed by Ada Samoda. We are unable to find any information on the artist, but we know that she was a very talented illuminator. We would assume that the book was created as a gift for a member of the religious community.

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