BOOK OF HOURS | Manuscript Book of Hours [use of Saint-Pol-de-Léon], in Latin. [France (Brittany): 3rd Quarter of the 15th Century]
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 USD
BOOK OF HOURS
Manuscript Book of Hours [use of Saint-Pol-de-Léon], in Latin. [France (Brittany): 3rd Quarter of the 15th Century]
Vellum, i+191 leaves, ca. 100 x 65 mm, the ruled space ca. 50 x 35 mm, written with 13 lines per page in a fine bâtarde script, illuminated with 8 full-page miniatures within full floral borders, 5 historiated initials with three-sided borders, and numerous illuminated ornamental initials, some early marginalia; scattered soiling, marginal tear to f.67, miniature on f.104r a bit rubbed. Late 17th- or early 18th-century brown morocco, covers elaborately gilt tooled with red morocco labels; rubbed. In a custom clamshell box.
Calendar, with numerous rare Breton saints, of whom six feasts are in red: Pol de Léon (Mar. 12 and Oct. 10), Hervé (June 17), Golvin (July 2), Yvo (Oct. 29), and Maudetus (Nov. 18); Hours of the Virgin (f.13r), with the Hours of the Cross, of the Spirit, and of St Catherine, intermixed; the Penitential Psalms (f.91r) and litany (f.105v); Office of the Dead (f.112v); Prayers including the ‘Obsecro te’ (f.151r); extracts from the Gospels (f.156r); suffrages (f.163r) to the Trinity, Sacrament, and saints, including to Pol de Léon (f.168r), Golvin, Hervé, Maudetus, Brangualadre, and various prayers including the Fifteen Joys of the Virgin (f.179v).
The subjects of the miniatures and historiated initials are: Annunciation, Visitation (f.41v), Crucifixion (f.55r), Pentecost (f.56r), St Catherine (f.56v), Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation, Flight into Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin, King David in Prayer, Funeral Service, the Virgin.
(1) Doubtless written for Hervé Koguelen (Hervé is a Breton name, and his family was perhaps from Le Coguen), whose name appears written by the main scribe on the last page: “Ces matines sont a herue koguelen’”. (2) Next owned by Paule Barber, with a similar inscription below Hervé’s. (3) The central ovals of the binding stamped “HV/ET” and “AP/P/RE” or “AP/RE/P”. (4) French 19th-century owner, with notes on the flyleaves signed with an NF monogram and date 1827. (5) Probably the manuscript sold in our London rooms, December 4, 1905, lot 237, with a catalogue clipping stuck to the back pastedown.
Although the calendar includes a number of distinctively Parisian feasts, including the ‘Susceptio’ of the Crown of Thorns at the sainte-Chapelle (Aug. 11), all other evidence points to the book’s having been made for a Breton patron, presumably in the westernmost part of France, the diocese of St-Pol-de-Léon.
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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