EXCEPTIONAL BOOK OF HOURS WITH 30
Estimate: US$50,000 - US$60,000
Price realised: n. a.
EXCEPTIONAL BOOK OF HOURS WITH 30 MINIATURES IN A 16TH CENTURY FANFARE BINDING. Horae. Book of Hours, Use of Rome. Illuminated Latin manuscript on vellum. [Southern France (probably Auvergne), c.1500]. 124 leaves (2 blank). 8vo (156 x 97 mm). Complete text, 20 lines per page, single column, written-space app. 76 x 54 mm. Dark brown ink in a small skillful lettre batarde, rubrics in purplish red, capitals touched in yellow, line-fillers with one- and two-line initials throughout in liquid gold on blue, brown and brick-red grounds, thirteen small miniatures [8 lines high] with panel borders in designs of colored flowers and acanthus leaves on parti-colored grounds, seventeen large miniatures with full borders, the miniatures in gently arched compartments in full color and liquid gold with initial and 3 lines below each miniature and full borders on parti-colored grounds. 16th century Parisian olive-brown full morocco gilt extra, c. 1575, gilt tooled a la Fanfare, with interlocking circular and rectangular compartments stamped with little fleurons, volutes, dots, etc., and infilled with sprays of leaves, central compartments stamped "MARIE" on upper cover and "DEMONSOY" on lower cover, spine similarly gilt with the letters 'P' and 'D' within quadrilobed compartments, vellum endleaves, a. e. g., in a pale brown 1/2 morocco fitted case, title gilt on spine. Final three pages in a slightly later hand, some slight flaking to the pink pigments, contemporary word or name scratched in the sky of the miniature on fol. 95r, a few very minor stains, otherwise in remarkably fine condition with exceptionally clean pages throughout, slight repairs at foot of binding, top of hinge to front board rubbed, otherwise binding in exceptionally well preserved condition. TEXT: A Calendar, in Latin (fol.1 r); the Gospel Sequences (fol.13r); the Obsecro te (fol.18v, in male form) and O intemerata; the Hours of the Virgin [Use of Rome], with Matins (fol.25r), Lauds (fol.33r), Prime (fol.41r), Terce (fol.44r), Sext (fol.47r), None (fol.49v), Vespers (fol.52r) and Compline (fol.56r); the Hours of the Cross (fol.72r) and of the Holy Ghost (fol.74v); the Penitential Psalms (fol.79r) and Litany; the Office of the Dead [Use of Rome], with Vespers (fol.95r), Matins (fol.98v) and Lauds (fol.113v); and Memorials to the Saints (fol.117r). ILLUMINATION: Books of Hours from south of the Loire valley are curiously rare and this is a finely-preserved example of an interesting provincial manuscript, in the general style of central or even eastern France. It was possibly made in Lyons, for similar spotted trees and hazy blue backgrounds occur in manuscripts illuminated there by Guillaume Leroy (cf. F. Avril in Avril and Reynaud, Manuscrits & peintures, 1993, pp.362-3). The large miniatures here are: 1. Folio 13r, St.John of Patmos, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., the evangelist writing assisted by his eagle; landscape background. 2. Folio 14v, St. Luke, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., the evangelist seated by a pillar in a gothic room, with his ox on the tiled floor. 3. Folio 16r, St. Matthew, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., the evangelist writing in a manuscript held by an angel in a gothic room. 4. Folio 17v, St. Mark, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., the evangelist writing at a lectern in a gothic room with his lion before him. 5. Folio 18v, The Virgin and Child, arch-topped miniature 80mm. by 53mm., enthroned below a hanging canopy. 6. Folio 25r, The Annunciation, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., with the Virgin kneeling below a canopy and Gabriel beside her in golden robes. 7. Folio 33r, The Visitation, arch-topped miniature 76mm. by 53mm.; landscape background with a house among the trees. 8. Folio 41r, The Nativity of Christ, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., set in front of a ruined stable with Joseph shielding a candle from the wind. 9. Folio 44r, The Annunciation to the Shepherds, arch-topped miniature 78mm. by 53mm., standing a
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