Lot 6
  • 6

Horae B.M.V. (Use of Rome)

8,000 - 12,000 USD
7,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • paper
Horae, in laudem beatiss[imae] virginis Mariae, Ad usum Romanum. Officium Triplex. Paris: Olivier Mallard, [colophon: August 1542]

8vo (7 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.; 190 x 114 mm). Collation: A - T8= [152] leaves, title printed in red and black with woodcut "broken pot" Mallard device after Geoffroy Tory enclosed by Tory's "dolphin" title-border (cp. Mortimer, French 303), almanach on title verso 1542-1571 printed in red and black, 14 full-page (including the first Annunciation consisting of two large blocks), 1 half-page, and 2 small woodcut text illustrations after Tory within architectural borders, some section headings and initials printed in red, all text pages enclosed within 16 woodcut decorative borders including emblems, medallions, dolphins and vase motifs by Tory with the Lorraine Cross in many blocks, five small spaces left for armorials are filled by three lateral blue bands, some decorative or floral woodcut initials, text blocks ruled in red throughout; without the folding plate "Triumph of the Virgin" mentioned by Lacombe and Rothschild, washed, some small marginal mends in first few leaves, mend in lower outer corner of leaf O4 touching architectural border, light dampstain in upper outer corner of first four quires, occasional marginal soiling or spotting. Modern vellum, gilt-stamped brown morocco title label on spine


Henri Burton


Adams L-1044; A. Bernard, Geofroy Tory, pp. 283-284; Bohatta 1093 (2nd ed. 1205); Lacombe 421; Rothschild I, 30; only one copy listed in OCLC (Paris, BN) though confused there with another issue of 22 quires with a different almanach.

Catalogue Note

A fine testimony to the influence of Tory's designs for the Book of Hours, these woodcuts are revised versions of the designs found in the Simon de Colines edition of 1525 "a deliberate break in the tradition of French Horae illustration and a reaction against the rapidly declining quality of the work of the Kervers, the Hardouyns, and their imitators" (Mortimer, p. 393). They also differ in execution from the cuts found in the first Mallard edition of 1541 (Mortimer 305).

After Tory died in 1533, Mallard married his widow and took over many of his blocks, but demand for liturgical printing was so great that he was forced to make copies of the artist's illustrations in order to have more than one press run operating at a time.