ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. Book of Hours, in Latin, use of Rome, illuminated manuscript on vellum, [Northern Italy, probably Milan, early fifteenth century]
Lot 218
Sold for £11,500 (US$ 19,329) inc. premium
Lot Details
Book of Hours, in Latin, use of Rome, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 163 leaves (A5, B-M8, N6, O-U8), wanting 3 leaves in quire A (A1 and 2, A8), 13 lines in black ink, justification 70 x 50mm., catchwords, rubrics and initials (1- and 2-line) in red and blue, 8 additional calligraphic letters, a few slightly later notes, fragment of another Italian illuminated manuscript with coloured initial pasted to first leaf (obscuring some of the text), early note at end 'Ex Mediolanii Anno Domini MCCCCLXXVI (1476), paper and wax seal, later note to prelim 'Dono dell' amica Da. Margherita Bossi. 20. marzo 1837.', sixteenth century Italian calf gilt, panelled sides with borders ruled in gilt and blind and central cartouche, lettered 'CM', spine worn with loss at head, wanting one clasp, 120 x 80mm. [Northern Italy, probably Milan, early fifteenth century]


  • A small Book of Hours of typical Northern Italian style. It is largely intact in a binding of the sixteenth century, with loss of only 3 leaves in the opening gathering (the first of which would probably have borne an additional miniature). The subjects of the initials, the final prayer to Saint Augustine and later annotation denote usage among the Augustinian order of Canons, or more likely in the case of a Book of Hours, the corresponding order of Canonesses. The note to the verso of the final leaf indicates that the book was in Milan in the year 1476.

    Text: 1-10 fragment of Matins; 10-22v Lauds; 23-27 Prime; 27-30v Terce; 31-34 Sext; 34-37v Nones; 37v-45 Vespers; 45v-50 Compline; 50-69 additional prayers, psalms and readings; 70-107v Office of the Dead; 108-120v Penitential Psalms; 120v-132 Litany; 132-136 Hours of the Cross; 136-139v Hours of the Holy Spirit; 140-147v Mass for the Virgin Mary; 147v-158v Office of the Blessed Virgin; 158v-163v Prayer to Saint Augustine.

    Illumination: 13 4-line historiated initials to openings of the major sections (ff. 10, 23, 27, 31, 34, 37v, 45v, 70, 108, 120v, 132, 136 and 140), c.20 x 25mm., each with liquid gold and leafy marginal extensions (a few of these extensions just cropped at foot), subjects including St Augustine and other Church Fathers, an Augustinian canoness (with book), St Augustine, John the Baptist, a skull, the Dove of the Holy Spirit and a cross.

Saleroom notices

  • Provenance: we understand that the manuscript has been in the collection of an English family for at least 150 years.
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