Persian miniature, 16th or 17th century, before conservation treatment / Illustration on a leaf from a French Book of Hours, c. 1460 to 1470, before treatment
Especially valued were illuminated manuscripts, which featured initial letters and illustrations in bright colors and gold leaf. Most popular in the 1400s, these handwritten texts continued to be commissioned by the wealthy even after mass-produced printed alternatives appeared. Six prime examples from Bucknell University’s Special Collections/University Archives, held within Bertrand Library, recently received treatment at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts. All are leaves cut from books; two are 16th- or 17th-century paper Persian miniatures, produced in what is now the Middle East and South Asia, while the others, parchments c. 1450 to 1550, come from Books of Hours, small prayer books that many carried with them in France, England, and the Netherlands during the Middle Ages.