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Auction: Auction 09.07.2001
was auctioned on: 9 July 2001
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Estimate: £20,000 - £30,000
ca. US$28,283 - US$42,425
Price realised:  £37,600
ca. US$53,173
Lot number 23, Views: 67

BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome in Latin and Dutch, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Bruges, c.1470] 201 x 135mm, 143 leaves, 1 6(of 8, i as pastedown, ii cancelled blank), 2-10 8, 11 3, 12-18 8, 19 6(of 8, vii cancelled blank, viii as pastedown), singletons with miniatures removed from before ff.7, 14, 21, 35, 18 lines written in black ink in a lettre bâtarde between two verticals and 19 horizontals ruled in violet, justification: 82 x 166mm, rubrics in red, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials in burnished gold flourished in dark blue and in blue flourished in red, line-endings in gold and blue, two-line initials in burnished gold on grounds and infills of blue patterned with white and of pink patterned with gold, some pink infills with heraldic lions, fleur de lys and sparking firesteels, TWENTY-SIX LARGE HISTORIATED INITIALS with staves of blue patterned with white on grounds of burnished gold and pink patterned with gold, SEVENTEEN SMALL MINIATURES and TWO MARGINAL MINIATURES, all these with FORTY-FIVE FULL-PAGE BORDERS around three-sided bar baguettes in gold with blue and gold acanthus alternating with sprays of flowers and fruit, interspersed with gold disks and penwork dots and inhabited by numerous figures, animals and grotesques, some relating to the initials and miniatures (slight smudging and rubbing to some borders, affecting the miniature on f.86 and a few initials, with some offsetting, upper margin of f.1 trimmed). Flemish 16th-century panelled goatskin over wooden boards, each cover with two impressions of a panel with a border of vine leaves and grapes around the signature IOHANNES GUILEBERT between compartments of four linked foliage roundels each with a pair of monkeys or birds, between the two panels, on the upper cover a row of two fleur de lys alternating with quadrilobes between two rows of eight bees, on the lower cover four roundels each with a different bird between the bees, metal clasps (catches and clasps renewed, repairs to spine). PROVENANCE: 1. The manuscript was made for the couple shown at prayer in historiated initials on ff.21 and 82; perhaps particularly for the wife, as she is shown alone in the borders by St Michael, f.84, and St Agatha, f.94v; her name may have been Agatha. Their costume, signalling noble rank, is identical in fashion to that in the name work of the Bruges Master of 1473 (Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique). The sparking firesteels, lions and fleur de lys found in the initials are all badges or armorial charges of the Dukes of Burgundy; Philip the Good's firesteel became one of the additional emblems of his chivalric Order of the Golden Fleece. This man was not a Knight of the Order, since he does not wear its badge or collar, but he may have held a ducal appointment, or he and his wife may have been members of the Burgundian court. The book, with its extensive cycles of offices and prayers, was probably written as well as illuminated for them: the Obsecro te is in the masculine and the O intemerata in the feminine. They presumably lived in, or came from, Ghent since the Calendar has feasts in red for Sts Pharahildis (4 January), Amand (6 February), Bavo (1 October), Livinus (12 November) and in black for Macharius (9 May), whose relics were in St Bavo's Abbey. Sts Livinus and Macharius are invoked in the Litany. 2. Bound in Ghent c.1525-40: Johannes Guilebert's bindings are on books dating from 1532 and 1538 and he has been localised to Ghent from his association with Joris de Gavere, who was active there c.1530. 3. The Franciscan Joseph van Uittenhoeve: his ex libris ad usum simplicem stamped in red. CONTENT: Calendar ff.1-6; Hours of the Cross ff.7-13v: matins f.7, prime f.8, terce f.9, sext f.10, none f.11, vespers f.12, compline f.13; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.14-20v: matins f.14, prime f.15, terce f.16, sext f.17, none f.18, vespers f.19, compline f.20; Mass of the Virgin, ff.21-25; Gospel extracts ff.25v-29v; Obsecro te ff.29v-32v

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Auction 09.07.2001
Date of the auction: 9 Jul 2001
Address: Christie's
London, King Street