BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED...
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BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [?Paris, c.1490]176 x 120mm. i + 111 + i leaves: 1 6, 2 6(of 8, lacking i-ii), 3 7(of 8, ii cancelled blank), 4-7 8, 8 7(of 8, viii cancelled blank), 9-14 8, 15 5(of 6, lacking iii; possiby of 8, lacking i and iii, viii cancelled blank), modern foliation, 25 lines written in lettre bâtarde in black ink between two verticals and 24 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 109 x 61mm, rubics in red, one- and two-line initials and line-endings in liquid gold on alternate grounds of dark purple and red, fifteen large initials with staves in blue and white on grounds of dark purple or red patterned with liquid gold, A PANEL BORDER ON EVERY TEXT PAGE wirh acanthus fronds and flower sprays on divided grounds of liquid gold, some inhabited by birds, TWELVE HISTORIATED CALENDAR BORDERS of liquid gold framing selected saints, the occupations of the months and the signs of the zodiac, FOUR SMALL MINIATURES in rectangular frames of liquid gold, TWENTY LARGE MINIATURES IN FULL-PAGE ARCHITECTURAL BORDERS with niches framing statues of related figures and with the text on fictive scrolls (lacking three or four leaves with miniatures, many leaves reinforced at stitching, slight rubbing to calendar borders and to some of architectural frames). Late 19th-century French red and green morocco gilt, with ornately-tooled doublures, watered green silk endpapers (scuffed). PROVENANCE: 1. From its texts and style, the book was probably written and decorated in Paris. Although the Calendar is not typically Parisian, St Genevieve is invoked in the Litany and the illuminator has correctly included her in the border for January, where her feast on 3 January has been filled by the Octave of St John. The absence of any strong local bias in the selection of saints, together with the Roman use and Latin rubrics, suggests that this handsomely illuminated book was intended for export; prayers are in the masculine. 2. It was apparently soon afterwards in the Netherlands, since a prayer in Dutch was added to the blank leaves at the end. CONTENT: Calendar ff.1-6v; Gospel extracts, lacking John and Luke, ff.7-9; Obsecro te ff.9v-12; O intemerata ff.12-13v; office of the Virgin, use of Rome, ff.14-58v: matins, with replacement rubric on what is now the facing verso f.13v, lauds f.26, prime f.34, terce f.37, sext f.40, none f.43, vespers f.46, compline followed by seasonal variants f.51; Penitential Psalms ff.59-66v; Litany ff.67-70v; Hours of the Cross ff.71-73; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.73v-75v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome, ff.76-103; memorials ff.103v-109v: Trinity f.103v, Sts Michael f.104, John the Baptist f.104v, John the Evangelist f.105, Peter and Paul f.105v, James f.106, Christopher f.107, Mary Magdalen (lacking opening) f.108, Barbara f108v, Genevieve f.109; added prayer in Dutch to the Five Wounds of Christ ff.109v-111v. ILLUMINATION: This lavishly decorated book shows how illuminators were inspired by the dense embellishments of printed Hours to extend the format and content of their manuscript pages. The extension of the usual miniature subjects through the fictive sculptures in the golden frames enriches the main theme by additional narrative (e.g. the Miracle of the Corn f.46) or by a prefiguration from the Old Testament (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar f.43). The cross-fertilisation between manuscript and printed hours was facilitated by the artists who both illuminated manuscripts and designed cuts for printed books. Among them was the Master of Robert Gaguin, whose style is seen in these miniatures and who also worked for the great Parisian printer Antoine Vérard. Named from the presentation copy of Robert Gaguin's French translation of Caesar's Commentaries , given to Charles VIII of France in 1488, he was a younger collaborator of the Master of Jacques de Besançon, heir to over a century of unbroken workshop transmission through pre-eminent Parisian illuminators r
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