The colophon of a 1485 edition of the Catholicon abbreviatum, the first French-Latin dictionary, which dates to 1485, indicates that Antoine Vérard was based at the heart of the bookselling and printing quarter of Paris, in a shop under the sign of St John the Evangelist, on the Pont Notre-Dame (a bridge built by Charles VI of France, which collapsed in 1499).
This present vocabulary was completed the .iiii. day of February 1485 for anthoine verard bookseller at the image of St John the Evangelist on the pont nostre dame or at the palace before the chapel where they sing the mass of "messeigneurs les presidens".
Vérard was the turning point between illuminated manuscripts and the modern printed edition. He combined the two techniques by printing works illustrated with woodcuts, cheaper, of which he then produced versions on vellum with hand-made illuminations for wealthy clients. He also produced printed works that almost resembled precious hand-produced manuscripts. Many printers worked for him, on vellum and paper. Ornaments and woodcut-plates were rented out and reused by different publishers. Vérard's printer's mark is recognisable for its two eagles on a starred base, supporting a red heart bearing the three letters AVR.
Vérard worked for a leisured bourgeois and noble public, notably king Charles VIII of France and even Henry VII of England. He did not hesitate to offer luscious examples of his work to the king of France, such as a Légende dorée, by Jacobus de Voragine, published in 1493 and offered to Charles VIII and his wife Anne de Bretagne. He did not hesitate to pirate his fellow printers works he saw good work that could sell. He thus took into his business one of the era's great publishing successes, the Calendriers des bergers, originally published by Guy Marchant.
His catalogue was highly varied and included more than 100 different works. He published many books of hours and didactic works, such as Le Jeu des échecs moralisés by the Dominican Jacobus de Cessolis (incunable of 1504), but also poems (François Villon), dramatic works and chivalric romances. He published an edition of the Roman de la rose around 1505, along with one of the Cent nouvelles nouvelles.
With a modern spirit of enterprise, around 1503 Vérard set out to conquer the English bookselling market with an English translation of the Calendrier des bergers (The Kalendar of Shyppars) and of L'Art de bien vivre et de bien mourir (1493), (the Art of Good Lywyng) and of the Chasteau de Labour (Castle of Labour), a 1499 poem by Pierre Gringore. He also published many books of hours for use with the Sarum Rite for the English market.
Ce present vocabulaire fut acheve le .iiii. jour de fevrier Mil quatrecens quatrevingtz et cinq pour anthoine verard libraire demourant a l'ymaige saint jehan l'evangeliste. sur le pont nostre dame. ou au palais devant la chapelle ou l'en chante la messe de messeigneurs les presidens.