BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
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BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Rouen, c.1475] 185 x 125mm. i + 120 + i leaves: 1 1 2, 2 9(of 8+i), 3 3(?of 4, iv cancelled blank), 4-8 8, 9 2, 10-15 8, 16 6, COMPLETE, 16 lines written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 17 horizontals ruled in red, vertical pricking on some leaves, rubrics in red, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials with staves of burnished gold on grounds of blue or pink patterned with white and infills of the contrasting colour, similar line endings, two- to four-line initials with blue staves patterned with white on burnished gold grounds with foliate infills of orange, blue and white, a SIDE BORDER TO EVERY PAGE of acanthus and flower sprays in blue, green, pink, red and liquid gold, some on divided grounds of liquid gold, interspersed with gold disks on hairline tendrils, two similar full-page borders accompanying large initials, TWENTY-FOUR SMALL CALENDAR MINIATURES in side borders, FIFTEEN LARGE ARCH-TOPPED MINIATURES FRAMED WITH GOLD AND ACCOMPANIED BY FULL-PAGE BORDERS enlivened by birds and grotesques, five with marginal roundels (slight staining to some margins, a few borders slightly smudged, small pigment losses to several miniatures). Early 16th-century French brown calf over wooden boards, stamped in blind with panels of, on the upper cover, St Barbara between inscription sancta barbara/ora pro nobis and twining foliage and, on the lower cover, St John the Baptist between Ung dieu sancte johannes ung roy une foy/ora pro nobis une loy , spine in seven compartments, attachments for two clasps (few wormholes, rubbed, joints restored). Modern red morocco box gilt. PROVENANCE: 1. The numerous Rouen saints in the Calendar and Litany and the Rouen Use of the Offices of the Virgin and of the Dead show that the manuscript was written for the Rouen market; prayers are in the masculine. It was illuminated in styles localised in Rouen for the lady kneeling at the Lamentation, f.114. 2. Madame Lespect, rue Pigeon, Rouen: 16th-century inscription promising a reward to anyone who returns her book, signed by Nicolas Le Page, f.13. The binding may have been executed in Rouen. The panels belong to a Parisian group c.1500-1510 of St Barbara, as here, and five similar versions of St John the Baptist -- the panel here is too worn to be identified certainly. Since some of the group are on English bindings of the first quarter of the 16th century, the stamps may have reached England via Rouen, which was a major supplier of books for the English market (see P. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbindings , 1979, no 36; J. Oldham, Blind Panels of English Binders , 1958, ST2 and ST28-31). 3. Jacques-Annibal Claret de Fleurieu de la Tourette (1692-1776) of Lyons, Président en la Cour des Monnaies de Lyon, and man of letters: engraved armorial bookplate dated 1719 inside upper cover. 4. Dionysii Vasilevich: modern inscription in Cyrillic script on first added leaf. CONTENT: Calendar ff.1-12; ruled blank with added prayer f.13; Gospel extracts ff.14-18v; Obsecro te ff.18v-21; O intemerata ff.21-24; Office of the Virgin, use of Rouen ff.25-66: matins f.25, lauds f.34, prime f.45, terce f.49v, sext f.52v, none f.55, vespers f.57v, compline f.f.62v; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.67-82v; Hours of the Cross ff.83-85v; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.86-88v; Office of the Dead, use of Rouen ff.89-113v; Fifteen Joys of the Virgin ff.114-117v; Seven Requests ff.118-120v. ILLUMINATION: The illumination is typical of the richly embellished Books of Hours produced in Rouen in the last quarter of the sixteenth century by painters who developed the patterns established by the Master of the Echevinage of Rouen. The Master, also known as the Master of the Geneva Latini, was widely imitated in his linear compositions and delight in surface pattern, exemplified by the textiles detailed in gold. Similar textiles in these miniatures provide a rich
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