(1) The Use is that of Amiens and the Calendar includes Firminus (1 and 25 September, deposition 13 January) and Honoratus (16 May) in red, both bishops of Amiens, as well as Fuscian (11 December), martyr of the city.
(2) Sold in our rooms, 5 December 1978, lot 52, for £4000, to the present owner.
The text, while now misbound, originally comprised: a Calendar in French, the Gospel Sequences, the Obsecro te and O intemerata, the Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost, the Penitential Psalms and a Litany, the Office of the Dead and Suffrages to the Saints incorporating the Stabat Mater and other prayers to the Virgin.
Until 1477 Amiens was part of Burgundy, and its artistic links were to that region and the cultural innovations of the Burgundian court and the workshops of Flanders. The borders here show clear influence of the Ghent/Bruges style of painting. The miniature with David in prayer before a detailed gothic architectural exterior, has been identified as the work of the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book (fl. c.1465-1515), or a close follower. He was named after a highly unusual Book of Hours, now Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek MS. A311. He was one of the most original Flemish artists of the second half of the fifteenth century, introducing a novel palette with bright oranges, teals, burgundies, rich blues and sometimes black, often in surprising combinations, and favouring the border motif of a densely-twisting naturalistic woody plant (as here and that illustrated in Kren and McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance, 2003, no.49, pp.210-12); cf. also A. Bovey, Jean de Carpentin's Hours, The Genius of the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book, 2011.
The tiny and detailed historiated initials show the Visitation (fol.15r), the Entombment of Christ (fol.26v), the Virgin and Child (fol.30r), the Nativity (fol.57v), the Annunciation to the Shepherds (fol.63r), the Adoration of the Magi (fol.67r), the Presentation in the Temple (fol.70v), the Flight into Egypt (fol.74v) and the Massacre of the Innocents (fol.51r).
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