Lot 43
  • 43

Book of Hours, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France (doubtless Paris), c.1420-30]

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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  • vellum
206 leaves, 127mm. by 92mm., wanting a number of leaves throughout and misbound, 15 lines in brown ink in two sizes of fine early gothic bookhand, rubrics in red, one-line initials in blue or gold with contrasting penwork, 2-line initials in gold on blue and pink grounds heightened with white penwork with single-line foliate extensions in borders terminating in gold and coloured flowers and fruit, seven three-quarter page miniatures (fols.1r, 3v, 17r, 21v, 32r, 57r and 125r; each approximately 65mm. by 45mm.) above 3-line initials and within thick text-frames on three sides of blue, pink and gold and full borders of foliage with multi-coloured acanthus-leaf sprays at their corners, ownership inscriptions of Frederick Fowler dated 4 March 1824 on endleaves, some small scuffs to a number of the miniatures, gold rubbed in places, other small stains, else good condition, seventeenth-century mottled calf over pasteboards, cracked along spine, with back board becoming loose

Catalogue Note


The manuscript is misbound. The texts include many unusual cycles of Hours, but not the core hours of the Virgin, and perhaps this was a supplement to another Book of Hours. The Hours here include those of the Holy Sacrament (fols.17r-21r); the Passion (fols.21v-56v); the Conception of the Virgin (fols.57r-63v); St. John the Baptist (fols.65r-71r); the Trinity (fols. 126 and 99r-101v); the Angels (fols.102 and 72r-88v); All Saints  (fol.125r); together with Suffrages to SS. Denis, Thomas Becket, Eutropius, Fiacre, Lô, and others (fols.104r-111r and 1r-6r); prayers for use at Mass (fols.6r-14r, 88r-97r); the Quinze Joyes and the Sept Requêles, in French (fols.112r-122r); and many other prayers, some in verse, some with ascriptions of authorship or extravagant offers of indulgence for their use.


This manuscript contains miniatures by at least two skilled Parisian artists, both working within the Boucicaut school in the second or third decades of the fifteenth century.

The miniatures comprise: (1) fol.1r, St. Mary Magdalene meeting Christ within a rocky landscape with a coloured and gold tessellated background; (2) fol.3v, St. Katherine with a sword and a palm of martyrdom standing before the crowd of pagan philosophers sent by Emperor Maxentius to convert her; (3) fol.17r, the Last Supper; (4) fol.21v, Christ in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane; (5) fol.32r, Christ bound and standing before Pilate; (6) fol.57r, the Meeting at the Golden Gate; (7) fol.125r, All Saints.