ILLUMINATED BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin.  Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [Flanders, probably Bruges, c.1460-75]
Lot 406
ILLUMINATED BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin. Illuminated manuscript on vellum, [Flanders, probably Bruges, c.1460-75]
Sold for £43,250 (US$ 72,695) inc. premium
Lot Details
ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT
BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 175 leaves plus blank endleaf at front and rear, mostly in gatherings of 8, with miniatures inserted on singletons, APPARENTLY COMPLETE, 18 lines in black ink in a gothic hand, justification 96 x 62mm., rubrics in red, 2- and 1-line initials in contrasting blue, pink, white and liquid gold, 14 LARGE MINIATURES (c.100 x 57mm.) on single inserted leaves, each in black and gold frames with full borders (broad on 3 sides, narrower at gutter), of fruit and flowers, all in grey, blue and burnished gold, each miniature predominantly in grey, black, dark blue, light blue and gold with occasional brown, pink, green and yellow, all with burnished gold, 14 corresponding opposite pages with 5-line decorated initials in black, white and gold and full borders around text (ff. 14, 21, 27, 37, 46, 53, 74, 79, 84, 89, 94, 101, 107, 126), 10 ADDITIONAL MINIATURES (c.42 x 44mm.) in a second sequence at end, each with adjacent coloured bar border of flowers and leaves, one 3-line historiated initial depicting Mary and dead Christ (f.166), some borders smudged, the Herod miniature defaced (confined to his face), sixteenth century calf gilt, panelled sides with central roundels (depicting the Crucifixion on upper cover, and the Virgin and Child in a garden on the lower), and the name 'Marie Hanequart Anno 1586', old paper spine label, covers rubbed, spine worn with loss of panel at foot and small piece at head, upper joint split, preserved in solander box, 162 x 110mm., [Flanders, probably Bruges, c.1460-75]

Footnotes

  • ILLUMINATION:

    The 14 large miniatures are on single leaves inserted before facing pages with illuminated borders. This typically Brugean construction thus displays 14 spectacular double-page openings, all intact in this manuscript. The semi-grisaille colour scheme, in differing shades of grey with gold highlights and restrained uses of other colours is a highly attractive variant on the fashion for grisaille evident in Bruges miniature painting at the time of Wilhelm Vrelant, the leading illuminator in this style (active in the city c. 1454-1481). The muted tones dominate both miniatures and borders, the latter displaying an elegant transposition of colour - fruit and flowers which would have been in bright hues in a standard Brugean manuscript are here rendered in shades of grey and blue with copious application of liquid gold highlights. The large miniatures comprise:

    13v Crucifixion
    20v Pentecost, depicting the Virgin , St John the Evangelist and the apostles in a chamber
    26v The Virgin and Child, in a chamber, an angel kneeling before them.
    36v The Coronation of the Virgin, who kneels before Christ enthroned, three angels in attendance (one above bearing the crown).
    45v The Annunciation
    62v The Visitation
    73v The Nativity
    78v The Shepherds
    83v The Magi
    88v The Presentation
    93v The Massacre of the Innocents. Herod enthroned orders the massacre.
    100v The Flight into Egypt.
    106v David at prayer, with his harp.
    125v Vigil of the Dead, with Christ at prayer and a small figure rising from his grave.

    The 10 smaller coloured miniatures comprise:

    168v John the Baptist kneeling with lamb
    169 SS. Peter and Paul
    169v St Andrew
    170 St Anthony (Abbot) with a pig
    171v St Nicholas
    172 St Anne (with the Virgin and child)
    172v St Mary Magdalen
    173 St Katherine
    173v St Barbara
    174v St Margaret with a beast.

    COLLATION AND CONTENTS:

    112, 210, 39, 44, 59, 69, 78, 89, 910, 1010, 119, 126, 139, 148, 159, 168, 178, 188, 196, 205 (of ?6, with one leaf cancelled), 218 (last blank), 221 (blank leaf plus stub of one cancelled leaf).

    Ff. 1-12, Calendar, which includes saints' days for Amand (6 Feb), Dymphna (15 May, probably added in a contemporary hand), Brendan (16 May), Fredegand (17 July) and Brice (13 November, also probably added at an early date);
    14-19v Hours of the Cross; 21-25v Hours of the Holy Spirit; 27-35v Mass of the Virgin Mary; 37-44 Advent offices; 46 Hours of the Virgin: 46-62 matins; 63-72 lauds; 74-77 prime; 79-82 terce; 84-87 sext; 89-92 nones; 94-99v vespers; 101-105v compline; 107-116v penitential psalms; 116v-124v litany and prayers; 126-162v Vigil of the dead; 162v-166 prayer 'Obsecro te'; 166-168 other prayers to the Virgin, followed by prayers to Saints: 168v John the Baptist; 169 Peter and Paul; 169v Andrew; 170 Anthony; 170v Nicholas; 171 Anna; 171v Mary Magdalen; 172 Katherine; 172v Barbara; 173v Margaret; 174-5 blank.


    PROVENANCE:

    The Hours of the Virgin are of the use of Rome but the calendar and litany include several saints popular in Flemish devotion: Saints Amand (6th February) and Bavo (1st October). Two saints of Irish birth, Saint Fredegand (17 July), the eighth-century abbot of Kerkeloder Abbey, near Antwerp and seventh-century Dymphna (15 May) whose body lay at Gheel, suggest a use in the Antwerp region at an early date. The book clearly remained in the Low Countries for at least a century, being rebound in a dated binding of 1586 for one Marie Hanequart.
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