Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [western France (probably Angers), c.1430]
151 leaves (plus one old vellum flyleaf at each end), 138mm. by 94mm., complete, collation: i12, ii-ix8, x7 (a single leaf with a miniature inserted as vii), xi-xviii8, xix4, 14 lines in a gothic bookhand, written space 85mm. by 58mm., capitals in yellow, rubrics in red and occasionally blue, one-line initials in red or blue with contrasting pen-flourishing, 2-line initials in burnished gold on red and blue grounds, 3- to 4-line initials in blue or red on contrasting grounds filled with ivy leaves or acanthus on burnished gold grounds, accompanied by slim double-bars and three-sided rinceaux borders with gold ivy leaves and stylised flowers, four three-quarter page miniatures with full borders of coloured acanthus, flowers and gold ivy leaves (fols.13r, 74v, 84r and 105v) and one full-page miniature with full borders of gold ivy leaves and stylised flowers (fol.83r), first flyleaf partially detached, vellum cockled, borders cropped, miniatures and borders rubbed, especially affecting the Annunciation and David in Prayer, in fair condition, a slim unrecorded paper booklet of 24pp. bound after fol.149: "Les Litanies de Jesus Christ" printed in Poitiers by Mounin, contemporary inscriptions in French in faded brown ink on original blank leaves at end, seventeenth-century brown leather binding, covers stamped in centre with the instruments of the Passion, with the name "François" to upper and "Novel" to lower cover, rubbed with some wear to spine
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(1) The style of the manuscript suggests that it was made in western France around c.1430. The saints included in the calendar, notably SS. Neomadie of Poitou (14 January), Maurilius of Angers (13 September), and most importantly the series of bishops in the litany (Maurilius, Renatus, Albinus, Licinius and Magnobod) point to Angers. The printed booklet from the late fifteenth or sixteenth century, added at the end of the manuscript, also includes litanies for Angers. The full-page miniature on fol.83r is near contemporary and was added soon after the book’s production.
(2) François Novel: his seventeenth-century binding.
(3) Christophe Augier de la Terraudière, lawyer and mayor of Niort from 1673-76: his inscription inside upper cover and name on verso of first flyleaf.