Lot 61
  • 61

Book of Hours, Use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France (Paris), c.1520-30]

18,000 - 25,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
158 leaves (plus two modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and one at the end), 178mm. by 115mm., complete, collation: i12, ii-x8, xi2, xii-xx8, single column, 19 lines written in a gothic hand, written space 110mm. by 59mm., capitals in yellow, rubrics in red, one- to 2-line initials and line-fillers in gold on red and blue grounds with white penwork decoration, 2- to 3-line initials in blue with white penwork decoration on gold grounds with ivy leaves and balls in red and blue, 2- to 3-line initials in blue heightened in white on red or brown grounds with gold penwork decoration, filled with gold and decorated with coloured flowers, twelve long and thin three-quarter-page miniatures (fols.13r, 29r, 60v, 66r, 69v, 73r, 76v, 82v, 87r, 104v, 108r, 111r) with full borders of coloured acanthus, enclosing numerous flies, butterflies, birds, animals and grotesques, including two monkeys seated on four-legged animals (one tugging at its host’s tail), another in a coif playing a stringed instrument to a squirrel, a realistic snail riding a long-eared orange animal, a human-headed archer and a huntsman with a hawk, 20 small miniatures accompanied by panel borders in the outer margins (fols.15r, 16r, 17v, 19r, 24v, 149v, 150r, 150v, 151r, 151v, 152r, 153r, 153v, 154r, 154v, 155r, 155v, 156v, 157r, 157v), miniatures and borders with small pigment losses, small damage to the head of Joseph on fol.73r and the body of Bathsheba on fol.87r, else in good condition, with wide and clean margins, nineteenth-century red leather binding, gilt-tooled in fanfare-style, scuffed and scratched

Catalogue Note


The text includes a Calendar (fols.1r-12v); the Gospel Sequences (fols.13r-18v); the Obsecro te (fols.19r-22r); the O intemerata (fols.22v-24v); the Stabat mater (fols.24v-26v); the Ave cuius prayer (fols.27r-28v); the Hours of the Virgin, with Matins (fols.29r-50v), Lauds (fols.50v-60v), Prime (fols.60v-65v), Terce (fols.66r-69r), Sext (fols.69v-72v), None (fols.73-76r), Vespers (fols.76v-82r), Compline (fols.82v-86v); the Penitential Psalms (fols.87r-104r), including a litany starting on fol.99r; the Hours of the Cross (fols.104v-107v); the Hours of the Holy Spirit (fols.108r-110v); the Office of the Dead (fols.111r-149v); and the Suffrages (fols.149v-158r).


The miniatures are painted by Jean Coene (also known as the Master of the Paris Entries), a prolific artist who was active in Paris for the French court under Louis XII (1498-1515) and François Ier (1515-47). He was originally named after the manuscripts he painted recording the royal entries into Paris of Mary Tudor in 1514 (London, British Library, Cotton MS.Vespasian B II) and Claude de France in 1517 (Paris, BnF., fr.5750), until his name was discovered in the painted frame on a leaf with the Crucifixion from a Missal, inscribed with ‘De Jos Coene’ (Leuchtendes Mittelalter, Neue Folge 1, 1997, ill. on p.320). He collaborated regularly with the Pichore workshop who dominated Parisian book illumination in the first decades of the sixteenth century (C. Zöhl, Jean Pichore, 2004). Although his compositions and figures are related to those of Pichore, he is easily distinguishable by characteristic faces with swollen eyes, pronounced red lips and his generous use of gold highlighting. His quick painting technique and the careful finish of his miniatures led him to be one of the most successful artists for a high-ranking clientele in early sixteenth-century Paris.

The large miniatures include: (1) fol. 13r, St. John on Patmos; (2) fol. 29r, the Annunciation; (3) fol. 60v, the Nativity of Christ; (4) fol. 66r, the Adoration of the Shepherds; (5) fol. 69v, the Adoration of the Three Magi; (6) fol. 73r, the Presentation in the Temple; (7) fol. 76v, the Flight into Egypt; (8) fol. 82v, the Coronation of the Virgin; (9) fol. 87r, David watching Bathsheba bathing; (10) fol. 104v, the Crucifixion of Christ; (11) fol. 108r, the Pentecost; (12) fol. 111r, Job on the Dungheap visited by his three Friends