(1) Written and illuminated at Delft probably for use in Leiden or Rotterdam (not Delft), perhaps for the first identifiable owner, Katharina van der Sluys (d. 1509-11), daughter of the bailiff of Rotterdam, who was married to Jan van Zijl Willem Foytgensz., of Leiden (d. 1494); with numerous obits added by her in the calendar: her husband, 12 April 1494; her grandfather, Ian vander Sluys (26 November 1461); her parents Dodijn Ianszoon vander Sluys (27 August 1495) and Lijsbeth dodijns wijf (1 January 1474), the daughter of Ian die Wit van Bolgersteyn (1 April 1479); and her siblings Jan Dodijnszoon' (2 August 1466), Symon Dodijnzoon' (30 July 1472), Martijn Dodijnszoon' (25 April 1489), Margriet Dodijns dochter' (22 October 1484), and ‘Marigen doen dochter’ (16 September 1495). By descent to her grand-niece:
(2) Margriete vanden Eijnden (b.1517) (signed on pastedown), wife of Jacob vanden Eijnden, the highest official in the county of Holland, who was accused of heresy and imprisoned in 1568, but died before the trial began. Eighteen years after his death, he was found not guilty by the Council of Troubles, and his confiscated goods were returned to his family. This lawsuit is mentioned on f.i verso, and the date of his death, previously unknown, is revealed by the obit in this manuscript (8 March 1569).
(3) Geoffrey Pring, sold in our rooms, 3 December 1951, lot 6, bought by Foyle for £175.
(4) William Foyle, of Beeleigh Abbey, with his gilt leather book-label; Foyle sale at Christie’s, 11 July 2000, lot 67 (ill.).
text and illumination
Calendar (f.1r); Hours of the Virgin (f.14r); Hours of the Cross (f.52r); Hours of the Holy Spirit (f.60r); the Seven Penitential Psalms (f.73r), litany (f.82r); Office of the Dead (f.90r); Prayers to the Holy Sacrament, the Virgin, and one’s guardian angel (f.112r).
The colourful Delft style in this manuscript has been defined by James Marrow as the work of the Masters of the Delft Half-Length Figures, who were active from about 1450 to 1480 (see The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting, 1989, nos.57, 59, 60), and the decoration as 'Delft Kriezels' by Anne Korteweg. Typical of these artists are the slender figures with long necks, tender faces, and bushy hair. Most delightful is the deep, bright palette with saturated reds, blues, yellows, and greens. The careful execution of the present Book of Hours is exemplified by the marginal decoration, perfectly aligned and wonderfully balanced, on both sides of the openings. The half-length angels and other bust figures that often appear in the borders, to which the Masters owe their name, have been omitted in this manuscript. These figures have given way instead to a variety of birds and animals, among which are a curious lion, an elephant bearing a castle, a sitting donkey, a running hare, and also a camel.
We are grateful to Anne Korteweg for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
The subjects of the miniatures and historiated initials are: (1) f.13v, Annunciation, (2) f.14r, Nativity; (3) f.51v, Crucifixion, (4) f.52r, Man of Sorrows; (5) f.59v, Pentecost, (6) f.60r, Trinity; (7) f.72v, Last Judgement, (8) f.73r, David kneeling before an altar; (9) f.90r, Two souls in the fires of Purgatory.
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