THE HOURS OF MARGUERITE FRESNEAU, use of Bayeux, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France, probably Normandy, final quarter 15th century]
Estimate: £30,000 - £50,000
ca. US$38,232 - US$63,721
Price realised: n. a.
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.
search in upcoming auctions
Search for your treasure now in upcoming auction catalogues of European auction houses!
Search in past auctions
Search in our archive with more than 27 million auctioned lots!
search in upcoming auctions
Search now in our artist database!