Lot 1018
Sold for US$ 35,250 inc. premium

Fine Books & Manuscripts

14 Nov 2005, 13:00 PST

San Francisco

Lot Details
Illuminated manuscript on vellum, in Latin and French. [Southern Netherlands (Bruges): c.1465]. 275 leaves. 144 x 104 mm. Apparently complete, final leaf a bifolio from a 14th-century Breviary with one- and two-line initials in blue flourished with red or red flourished with blue, 16 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand, rubrics in red, some line-endings in blue and red, text capitals touched yellow, one- and two-line initials of blue flourished with red or in red flourished with dark blue, three-line initials of burnished gold with red and blue grounds and white tracery, ONE SMALL MINIATURE and ELEVEN HISTORIATED INITIALS between seven and five lines high with staves of gold patterned with black on grounds of grisaille patterned with white. 17th-century English black paneled calf over wooden boards ruled and stamped in blind, with central crowned thistle. Slight water staining to lower outer corner and edge of bottom margin of all folios, ff.1-8, 105-118 and 272-274 extensive stains, ff.61v and 62r with pencil doodles of two mustachioed men on margins, some smudging to most illuminated and historiated initials, rebacked, extremities rubbed.


1. The illumination suggests the Psalter was made in Bruges and the calendar has saints for the region highlighted, such as Vedast and Amand, Gildard and Medard, Bertin, Lambert and Bavo. British saints, however, predominate, showing that the book was made for the English market. In March, for instance, are David, Chad, Edward Martyr, and Cuthbert. The Litany includes Gildard and Medard from the Netherlands and Alban, Swithin and Edith from England.

2. Joan Tiptoft, Lady Ingoldisthorpe (1425-1494), and possibly the book’s commissioner. “Praye ffor the sowle of my Lady Ingoldesthorp” appears on f.274v in a 15th- or early 16th-century hand. Joan Tiptoft was born in 1425, the daughter of John, created Lord Tiptoft and then Earl of Warwick, and Joyce, daughter and co-heiress of Edward, Lord Charleton, and Eleanor Holand. In 1435 Tiptoft married Joan to his ward Sir Edmund Ingoldisthorpe of Borough Green, Cambridgeshire (d.1456). Lady Ingoldisthorpe was eventual co-heiress to her parents, when her brother, John Tiptoft, second Earl of Worcester, was executed in 1470. In her will, made shortly before her death in 1494, she asked to be buried in Blackfriars, London, where her brother lay [G.E.C., Complete Peerage; J. Roskell, L. Clark and C. Rawcliffe, The History of Parliament. The House of Commons 1386-1421, 1992, II, pp.475-477, IV, pp.620-628; J. Wedgwood, The History of Parliament. Biographies of Members of the Commons House 1439-1509, 1936, p.493; W. Palmer, A History of the Parish of Borough Green, 1939, pp.59-60, 91-925.] The second Earl of Worcester, who studied at Padua 1459-1461, had amassed a considerable collection of humanist manuscripts intended for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to raise the standard of Latin in England (Duke Humfrey’s Library and the Divinity School, Bodleian Library, 1988, pp.70-80). His sister Joan’s liking for fine books was also satisfied by Bruges illuminators, the traditional supplier of liturgical manuscripts to the English market; the second husband of their elder sister, Philippa, was Edward Grimston, who had been painted in Bruges by Petrus Christus in 1446.

3. Parish church of the Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, before the Reformation, with feasts of St. Milburga and her invention, f. 6v, added to the Calendar. Milburga’s cult centered on her 11 relics in the Cluniac Priory at Wenlock, Shropshire. Joan, Lady Ingoldisthorpe, held some of her mother’s family lands in Shropshire, at Lydham and Pontesbury, and may have acquired a devotion to St. Milburga from her mother. Conceivably, Wenlock was the site of her chapel foundation, mentioned in her will without identifying details, to which the Psalter could have been given. The injunction to pray for her soul could have been added for Wenlock church, or the Priory on which the church depended.

4. In England in or after 1538 when St.Thomas Becket was scored through in the text. Brief liturgical annotations in English were added subsequently.

5. George Bennett: note on f.1 “Geo Bennett 1755 emptus apud Ludlow”, Shropshire.

6. William A. Foyle and family by descent.

7. Foyle sale, part I, Christie’s London, July 11 2000, lot 34.

Although books of hours had become the most common form of private devotional book, psalters were still occasionally made as separate volumes in the 15th century, more probably on commission than for the open market. This psalter was clearly designed for England, where devotion to the Five Wounds was particularly popular. Given the comparative rarity of psalters in the 15th century, it is noteworthy that two others are illuminated in the same style as the Ingoldisthorpe Psalter: Glasgow, University Library, MS General 288, and Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, Leuchtendes Mittelalter III, Catalogue XXVII, no 5.
The volume comprises, a Calendar ff. 1-12; prayer to Trinity ff. 13-14v; benefits and indulgence given by St.Boniface to the Mass in honor of the five Wounds of Christ ff.15-16v; Mass of the Five Wounds ff.17-20; Hours of the Lamentation of the Virgin ff.21-42; Psalter ff.43-245v; Canticles ff.245v-265v; Litany and prayers f.265v-274v.

The style and compositional patterns of the grisaille initials and miniature in the Ingoldisthorpe Psalter are in the late style of the workshop of Guillaume Vrelant, which produced at least one other book for the English market, the Arenberg Hours discussed above and now in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Ms Ludwig IX 8). The subjects used to illustrate the divisions of the Psalter here are mostly the same as those in the two other Psalters attributed to Vrelant’s workshop, in this instance as grisaille historiated initials rather than full color miniatures. For example, The Deposition, f.17, is a miniaturized version of the scene in Ludwig IX 8, f.111. Vrelant and his shop adopted various forms of grisaille and semi-grisaille in later years. In some initials here, Vrelant’s own characteristic delicacy of detail is still evident in the tiny highlights of gold and white, which define draperies, buildings and landscape forms. The figurative decoration in virtual monochrome is set off by the blue, red and gold of the flourished and illuminated initials, in turn set against the wide undecorated margins. An attractive and uncommon Burgundian psalter with a distinguished English provenance.
The subject of the small miniature is:
Folio l6v. Five Wounds depicted on a cloth held by four angels, who also bear the instruments of the Passion.
The subjects of the historiated initials are:
Folio 13. Christ kneels as Intercessor;
Folio 17. The Deposition;
Folio 21. The Lamentation;
Folio 43. David kneeling in a courtyard;
Folio 73v. David kneeling in a landscape, pointing to his eyes;
Folio 92. David in a landscape before the Lord;
Folio 110v. The Fool on a hobbyhorse in a room before David;
Folio 129v. David standing in the waters of a river;
Folio 153v. David playing the bells;
Folio 175. Clerics singing at a lectern;
Folio 199. The Trinity.
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