BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen
Lot 96
BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen
Sold for £28,800 (US$ 48,179) inc. premium
Lot Details
BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen
Illuminated manuscript on vellum, in Latin (with some French), 141 leaves, collation 112, 28, 36, 4-78, 86 (of 8, 2 cancelled), 912, 108, 1110, 12-134, 14-168, 176, 189 (10, probably blank, cancelled), apparently complete, 15 lines, written in dark brown ink in an angular gothic liturgical hand, justification 95 x 125mm., rubrics in red, capitals touched with yellow, the Calendar in red, blue and gold, versal and 2-line initials and line-fillers throughout in burnished gold on red and blue with white tracery, numerous full and partial bar borders to outer margins, with leaves, fruits and flowers in green, blue, red and green on hairline tracery, 8 LARGE MINIATURES above 3-line initials with twisting ivy stem designs in colours on burnished gold grounds, in arched-top compartments (c.95 x 65mm.) with full surrounding borders with acanthus leaves, fruit and flowers in green, blue, red and gold with hairline stems, generally in very clean condition, small portions of blank lower margin of f.1 and lower forecorner of 140 torn away with neat old repairs, the first miniature (the Evangelists) and portion of border rather smudged making some faces indistinct, verso of final leaf with traces of adhesion to an earlier binding (not affecting text), bound in early twentieth century full brown panelled morocco, spine incorrectly lettered "Missal. M.S." in gilt, g.e., slightly rubbed, 176 x 128mm., [Rouen, c.1460-80]



    (i) Written and illuminated in the region of Rouen (the calendar includes the Rouen feasts of St Romanus (“Romaing”) on 23 October in gold, the Translation of St Romanus on 17 June in red, together with feasts of St Wandrille and St Ouen).

    (ii) Sixteenth century inscription to lower margins of f. 1r, 12v, 94v and 141v “Paenissiez RR de Marac” [Champagne-Ardenne].

    (iii) Early twentieth century armorial bookplate of George Becher Blomfield.


    (i) Calendar, 1r-12v, with several feasts associated with Rouen highlighted (see above).

    (ii) The Gospel Sequences, 13r-26v, preceded by a large illuminated miniature in four parts depicting the four Evangelists, in a rectangular compartment with arched top.

    (iii)The Hours of the Virgin, 27r-75r: Matins preceded on 27r by a large illuminated miniature of the Annunciation, with the Virgin kneeling before elaborate drapes beneath an arched loggia on a tiled floor, Lauds 37v; Prime 51r with a large illuminated miniature of the Nativity, set within a timber-framed barn surrounded by a wicker fence; Terce 56r; Sext 59r, None 61v, Vespers 65r with a large illuminated miniature depicting the flight into Egypt; Compline 71r-75r; 75v-76v blank.

    (iv) The Penitential Psalms, 77r-89v, preceded by a large illuminated miniature of David at prayer, his harp on a tiled floor to one side.

    (v) The Litany, 89v-94v.

    (vi) The Hours of the Cross, 95r-98r, preceded by a large illuminated miniature of the Crucifixion, 98v blank.

    (vii) Hours of the Holy Ghost, 99r-101v, preceded by a large miniature of the Virgin at Prayer, surrounded by the saints, a Pentecostal dove hovering above, 102 blank.

    (viii) Office of the Dead, ff. 103r-132v, preceded by a large miniature of a funeral.

    (ix) Prayers and suffrages in French, 133r-141v.

    A very attractive and well-preserved Rouen Book of Hours. The 9 large miniatures in this example are of good quality of the type associated with the prolific workshops of later medieval Rouen. For similar images cf. De Hamel, Illuminated Manuscripts (first edition) which gives, as plates 186-9, reproductions of 4 very similar miniatures of the Nativity from four different Rouen Books of Hours. Further similar examples are to be found in Waddesdon Manor, National Trust, MS 12, illustrated in The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Illuminated Manuscripts, pp. 247-264.
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