Lot 31
  • 31

Christ on the Mount of Olives, miniature on a leaf from the Courtanvaux-Elmhirst Hours, in Latin and French [France (perhaps Châlons-en-Champagne), c.1480s]

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • bodycolour on vellum
single leaf, c.144x97mm, vellum, with a miniature for the Hours of the Cross, 14 lines, c.65x52mm, partial border on verso, folio 34 in the parent manuscript, small pigment losses

Catalogue Note

(1) The aristocratic male patron is shown kneeling before the Virgin in the miniature to the 'O intemerata', and a heraldic shield appears in at least two initials, including lot 34 below (or, a lion rampant azure, langued and armed gules), but the origin of the manuscript is hard to determine. The text of the first lesson of the Office of the Dead, sold in our rooms, 7 July 2015, lot 42, is extremely rare and, according to K. Ottosen, The Responsories and Versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead, 1993, p.74, is only found in sources from Châlons-en-Champagne. This attribution gains support from the All Saints miniature, lot 33 below, because the cathedral of Châlons is dedicated to St Stephen. (2) François-Michel-César Le Tellier (1718-81), Marquis de Courtanvaux, with his ink-stamp on one of the other leaves (see S. Gwara, Census of Medieval Manuscripts in South Carolina Collections, 2007, p.46 and no.82). (3) Edward Mars Elmhirst (1915-57), of Worsboroughdale, Yorkshire, with his gilt crest on the former binding; sold in our rooms, 14 June 1954, lot 32. (4) Harry Walton (d.2007), of Covington, VA (Supplement to de Ricci’s Census, 1962, p.518 no.A-103); his sale at Bloomsbury’s, New York, 3 April 2009, lot 15 (119 leaves including 31 miniatures, described as Use of Bourges); the leaf in South Carolina had been extracted from the parent volume before the 1954 sale, and the rest of the book was broken-up after the Walton sale. More than 20 of the miniatures are reproduced online as 'The Courtanvaux-Elmhirst Hours'.

From the same manuscript as the following three lots.