Lot 18
Sold for £15,600 (US$ 26,193) inc. premium
Lot Details
BOOK OF HOURS, Use of Rome, in Latin with additional prayers in Flemish, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 166 leaves, early foliation to first part of the manuscript only (with several errors and not used here), 14 lines in black/brown ink in a gothic bookhand within borders ruled in pink (justification approximately 70 × 50 mm.), rubrics in red, numerous 2-line initials of liquid gold on coloured grounds, two 6-line initials (opening the Hours of the Virgin and the Penitential Psalms), 13 miniatures (approximately 64 × 48 mm.) in arch-topped compartments set in borders on three sides with scrolling acanthus and other leaves, flowers and fruit, in liquid gold and colours, each with 3-line illuminated initial below, occasional slight rubbing or spotting, a few minor old repairs or reinforcements, ownership inscription dated 1704 to front pastedown, late seventeenth century French calf, gilt panelled spine, marbled edges, rubbed, spine and corners worn, 115 × 85 mm., [perhaps Bruges, c.1460-1480]

Contents: ff. 1-4v Prayers in a slightly later (but still early) hand “Gloriosissima dei genitux virgo…”, “Ora dei passione…”, “Alia oro de Virgine Maria…” and “Vreest den here In all Wercken…” with careful erasure of several lines at foot of final page; 5-16v Calendar; 17 blank; 18-22 Hours of the Cross; 23-27 Hours of the Holy Spirit; 28-40 Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 40v-44v Prayers and Hours on the Passion; 45-47v Memorials to SS. George and Christopher; 48-105r Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 105v-118 Prayers; 118v-121 Memorials to SS. Adrian and Barbara; 212v-123 Stabat mater; 123v-124 prayers in a slightly later (but still early) hand; 124v blank; 125-137 Penitential Psalms; 138-162v Litany; 163-166 later prayers and blanks. Lacking 5 leaves: two between ff. 47 and 48 bearing the end of the text of the memorial of St Christopher and preceding the opening of the Hours of the Virgin (one of the leaves thus potentially bearing a miniature to face the opening of the Hours); two leaves between ff. 124 and 125 preceding the opening of the Penitential Psalms (possibly blank) and one between ff. 145 and 146 within the prayers following the Litany (with loss of text); additionally a stub of vellum is visible between ff. 130 and 131 within the text of the Penitential Psalms, resulting in a gathering of only 7 leaves (the book collates predominantly in 8s), but the text running on continuously without loss, suggesting removal during production

Illumination: the decoration of this attractive Book of Hours is typical of the work associated with the workshops of Bruges in the third quarter of the fifteenth-century, and can be associated with the school of Guillaume Vrelant whose workshops and many collaborators dominated the trade in this period. While possibly (though not certainly) lacking a miniature before the Hours of the Virgin the manuscript contains 13 very good miniatures:

f. 18r The Crucfixion
f. 23r Pentecost
f. 28r The Virgin and Child enthroned
f. 45r St George
f. 46v St Christopher
f. 59v The Agony in the Garden
f. 72v Christ before Pilate
f. 77v The scourging
f. 82v Christ bearing the cross
f. 88r Raising the cross
f. 92v The deposition
f. 100v The entombment
f. 118v St Adrian
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