Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 18 April 2024

Circle of Nicolaes Biestkens, “Charity & Justice”, c.1520–58

Unidentified printmaker from the circle of Nicolaes Biestkens (fl.1558–85)—a letterpress printer and publisher active around Emden and Amsterdam and famous for publishing the first Dutch edition of the Bible in 1558.

“Charity & Justice” (aka “CHAR:/ITAS”] [as lettered on the strapwork decorated pedestal supporting a mother comforting children]; “IVSTI/CIA I” [as lettered on pedestal supporting the personification of Justice]), c.1520–58, a double-sided leaf from a Dutch Book of Hours with woodcut borders and letterpress text. The Dutch text may be from Psalm 123 (forgive me if I am wrong), but this proposal is based solely on my deciphering of the following passage: “Wandt hy aenschouwet van zijnder heyligher hoocheyt, ende de Heere siet vanden hemel optcr aerden” ([Google transl.] “Let him look upon his own heavenly glory, and see the Lord come down from heaven”).

Regarding the attribution of the leaf to the time period between 1520 and 1558, the earlier date is based on information offered by the dealer from whom I originally purchased this leaf and the later date is based on stylistic similarities with the title page to the “Biestkens Bible” (aka “Biestkensbijbel”) (see title page:, published by Nicolaes Biestkens near Emden in 1558.

Woodcut border panels with black and red letterpress text printed recto and verso on laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 14.8 x 9.8 cm.

Condition: both recto and verso impressions are strong and well-printed showing minimal signs of wear to the printing plates. The sheet is in an excellent condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds or significant stains.

I am selling this post-incunabulum double-sided woodcut and letterpress printed leaf from what is likely to be a small Dutch “Book of Hours” for AU$283 in total (currently US$182.65/EUR170.84/GBP146.37 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare leaf featuring a remarkably forlorn personification of Justice and a very beautiful representation of motherhood, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This leaf has been sold

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