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Auction: Valuable Books and Manuscripts
was auctioned on: 10 July 2019
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THE HOURS OF MARGUERITE FRESNEAU, use of Bayeux, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France, probably Normandy, final quarter 15th century]

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Estimate: £30,000 - £50,000
ca. US$38,232 - US$63,721
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 524, Views: 279

THE HOURS OF MARGUERITE FRESNEAU, use of Bayeux, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France, probably Normandy, final quarter 15th century] A charming Book of Hours with engaging and lively illumination in an exceptional 16th-century à la fanfare binding by the Parisian 'Atelier à la première palmette', binders of the King of France, Henri III. 185 x 132mm. i + 81 leaves, 20 lines, ruled space: 115 x 80mm, four large miniatures within full inhabited borders, large illuminated initials with one-sided borders opening lauds, terce, sext, none and compline, illuminated initials throughout, added prayers in French and Latin at the end in a late 15th-century hand (lacking one leaf with a miniature opening the Office of the Dead after f.57, occasional marginal dampstaining but otherwise in pristine condition). 16th-century olive morocco gilt à la fanfare , stamped with the name ‘Marguerite / Fresneau’ (very lightly scuffed). Provenance : (1) Françoise Lacointesse: the verses on ff.77v-78 32, in a near-contemporary French hand, form the acrostic 'Honeste Femme Françoise Lacointesse'. (2) Marguerite Fresnau: her name stamped on the 16th-century binding by the 'Atelier à la première palmette' (see G. Hobson, Les reliures à la fanfare , 1970, p.41, no 105a), thence to her grand-daughter: (3) Louise du Bellay de La Palus, abbess at the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame de Nyoiseau between 1643-45 and descendent of the great French poet, critic and founder of the Pléiade Joachim du Bellay: inscription on the flyleaf 'Ces heures Antiques apartenoient a Madame Marguerite Fresneau grande mere de Madame Louise du Bellay, Abbesse de cette Abbaye de Nioyseau, la qu'ell vivoit en l'an 1644'. (4) Guglielmo Libri (1803-1869), sold in his Catalogue de livres la plupart rares et curieux la plupart rares et curieux [...] de M. Libri Carucci , Paris, Victor Tilliard, 1855, lot 1763. It was already lacking its miniature when Libri purchased it. (5) Nicolas Rauch, Lausanne, 1952. Content : Calendar ff.1-12v; Gospel extracts ff.13-18; Hours of the Virgin, use of Bayeux, with short Hours of Cross and Spirit intermixed, ff.19-47v; Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.48-57v; Office of the Dead, use of Bayeux, ff.58-77, added prayers in French and Latin ff.77v-80v. Illumination : The miniatures are in the style of what was current in Rouen in the 1480s as regards compositions, palette and conventions for landscape backgrounds, hatching and cross-hatching in brushed gold on garments. But the hand of the artist of the present Hours is eccentric and far from conventional: his colours are bright and bold, and his figures bear exaggerated features like oversized, gesticulating hands and deep neck-folds. It is particularly reminiscent of a Book of Hours for the use of Lisieux, now London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Reid 13. The subjects of the large miniatures are as follows: Annunciation f.19, Nativity f.33, Presentation in the Temple f.42v, David in prayer f.48.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Valuable Books and Manuscripts
Date of the auction: 10 Jul 2019
Address: Christie's
London