55
55
Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France (Rouen), c.1470-80]
Estimación
25.00035.000
Lote. Vendido 60,000 GBP (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE
55
Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France (Rouen), c.1470-80]
Estimación
25.00035.000
Lote. Vendido 60,000 GBP (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE

Details & Cataloguing

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France (Rouen), c.1470-80]
161 leaves (plus 2 modern vellum endleaves at front and back), 193mm. by 125mm., wanting one leaf after fol. 158, else complete, collation: i6, ii7, iii-iv8, v3, vi-viii8, ix7, x-xii8, xiii4, xiv-xxi8, xxii6 (iv wanting), 14 lines in dark brown ink in a gothic bookhand (written space: 94mm. by 56mm.), rubrics in red, one-line initials and line-fillers in gold on red and blue grounds with white penwork decoration, 2- to 3-line initials formed of acanthus on gold grounds decorated with flowers, five historiated initials (fols.16v, 18r, 20r, 115r, 118v), twenty-four arch-topped calendar miniatures in the lower margin, alternating the labours of the months with biblical scenes (fols.1r-12v), ten small miniatures depicting saints (fols.57v-60v, 61v-62v), sixteen large miniatures with full borders (fols.14r, 21v, 26v, 33r, 45r, 64r, 69v, 73r, 76r, 79v, 86v, 92r, 112r, 116r, 120r, 153r), including historiated roundels and numerous insects, birds, drollery creatures, a monkey playing a set of bagpipes, another riding a bear cub and another sitting on a snail reading an open book, and human figures, including a jester and a hunter shooting an arrow at a grey and red cat-like animal, border panels of foliage throughout, lines of devotional exhortations added in eighteenth-century hand on last leaf (partially erased), small calendar miniatures on fols.2v-3r smudged, some of the main miniatures with surrounding borders with small chips in places, that on fol.14r also smudged in the border, else excellent condition, late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century gilt-tooled brown leather over pasteboards signed by Riviere & Son
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Procedencia

1. Written and illuminated in Rouen c.1470-80 for Jeanne, the fashionably dressed woman shown in prayer kneeling next to her namesake and patron saint, John the Baptist, in the border on fol.153r, as both gaze at the miniature of the Virgin and Child.

2. E. Peter Jones: his early twentieth-century armorial bookplate inside upper cover.

3. Allan E. Bluestein of Washington DC.: 1964 valuation for him enclosed, and his partly erased inscription dated April 1968, recording his presentation of the book to a friend.

Nota del catálogo

text

The volume comprises: a Calendar (fol.1r); the Gospel Sequences (fol.14r); the Obsecro te (fol.21v) and O intemerata (fol.26v); the Hours of the Virgin, interspersed with suffrages, with Matins (fol.33r), Lauds (fol.45r), followed by appeals to the Holy Spirit (fol.57v), SS. Nicholas (fol.58r), Michael (fol.58v), John the Baptist (fol.59r), John the Evangelist (fol.59v), Peter (fol.60r), Maur (fol.60v), Catherine (fol.61v), Christ (fol.62r), and All Saints (fol.62v), Prime (fol.64r), Terce (fol.69v), Sext (fol.73r), None (fol.76r), Vespers (fol.79v), Compline (fol.86v); the Penitential Psalms (fol.92r); the Hours of the Cross, with Matins (fol.112r) to Compline (fol.115v); the Hours of the Holy Ghost, with Matins (fol.116r) to Compline (fol.118v); the Office of the Dead (fol.120r); the Doulce Dame (fol.153r) and the Sept Requestes in French (fol.159r).

 illumination

This richly illuminated book of hours is closely connected to the work of the Master of the Echevinage de Rouen who was the most successful Norman illuminator of the third quarter of the fifteenth century. He is recognizable by his pale figures with large round eyes emphasized by grey shadows. Flat tapestries often cover walls in his miniatures (as in the miniatures on fols.64r and 76r here), and his strong colours highlighted with gold hatch strokes create a cool atmosphere. The main artist of the present manuscript impresses through the fine modelling of faces and the lavish use of gold highlighting. This skilful painter collaborated here with two other artists. One was responsible for some of the historiated borders and the historiated initials in the Hours of the Cross and the Holy Spirit (fols.33r, 64r, 69v, 112r, 115v, 116r, 118v, 120r) and is recognisable by stocky figures with neatly combed hair while the other painted the small miniatures for the suffrages (fols.57v-60v, 61v-62v), which are characterised by figures with dark shaded eyes and strong reddish cheeks.

The marginal vignettes in the Calendar and the borders of the miniatures include a large number of rare subjects, often employed by the Master of the Echevinage workshop, including the two-faced Roman God Janus (fol.1r), the legend of Nessus the centaur (here fol.45r), who attempted to abduct Heracles’ wife Deianeira, and was shot by Heracles with an arrow poisoned with the blood of the Hydra, the legends of Orpheus and Eurydice (fol.73r, with Orpheus playing a lyre with a bow as Eurydice steps out of an open hellmouth) and Pyramus and Thisbe (fol.92r). Another Book of Hours, sold in our rooms, 8 July 2008, lot 32, was partly painted by one of the artists of the present manuscript, and contained a smaller number of these rare scenes.

The significant illumination comprises: (1) The Calendar miniatures. January: Janus as a two-faced nobleman (fol.1r) and the Baptism of Christ (fol.1v); February: a man warming his hands by the fire (fol.2r) and Jonah emerging from the Whale (fol.2v); March: the pruning of vines (fol.3r) and the Sacrifice of Isaac (fol.3v); April: picking flowers (fol.4r) and Noah welcoming his family onto the ark (fol.4v); May: a couple riding (fol.5r) and the Creation of Eve (fol.5v); June: harvesting hay (fol.6r) and Job in his dungheap (fol.6v); July: harvesting wheat (fol.7r) and Daniel in the lion’s den; August: threshing (fol.8r) and the Virgin of the Apocalypse (fol.8v); September: treading grapes (fol.9r) and the cleansing of the Temple (fol.9v); October: sowing seeds (fol.10r) and the passage across the Red Sea (fol.10v); November: thrashing the trees for acorns (fol.11r) and Christ among the doctors (fol.11v); December: killing the hog (fol.12r) and baking bread (fol.12v); (2) fol.14r, St. John on Patmos; the borders enclosing St. John boiled in oil and blessing the poisoned Cup; (3) fol.21v, the Pietà; with a Noble man selling his soul to the devil and a Man praying to the Virgin with a rosary; (4) fol.26v, the Virgin of the Apocalypse; with Sibyls and Angels in prayer; (5) fol.33r, the Tree of Jesse; with the Presentation of the Virgin to the Temple, the Virgin weaving, the Marriage of the Virgin, the Annunciation and Adam and Eve standing either side of the serpent in the tree; (6) fol.45r, the Visitation; with Manna falling from Heaven and Nessus the Centaur abducting Heracles’ wife as Heracles shoots an arrow at him; (7) fol. 64r, the Nativity, with St. Augustine and Christ emptying the sea and a Man leading two women; (8) fol.69v, the Annunciation to the Shepherds; with Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl; (9) fol.73r, the Adoration of the Magi; with the Magi asking Herod about the new-born Christ and Orpheus and Eurydice; (10) fol.76r, the Presentation in the Temple; with Herod ordering the slaying of the young children and the Massacre of the Innocents; (11) fol.79v, the Flight into Egypt; with the Miracle of the Cornfield as the soldier returns to the field only a few months after harvest to discover the peasants cutting the second and miraculous harvest, and the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem; (12) fol.86v, the Coronation of the Virgin; with the Judgement of Solomon and the Fall of the Idols in Egypt; (13) fol.92r, the Last Judgement; with St. Michael weighing souls, David and Goliath and Pyramus and Thisbe; (14) fol.112r, the Crucifixion; with the Betrayal of Judas and the Death of Judas hanging as two hairy devils pluck his soul (in the form of a tiny naked man) from his chest; (15) fol.116r, the Pentecost, with the Noli me tangere; (16) fol.120r, the Three Living and the Three Dead; with a Burial and the Dance of Death; (17) fol.153r, the Virgin and Child; with Christ in Limbo and the original owner in prayer, before St. John the Baptist.

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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