BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
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BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Rouen, c.1490] 160 x 115mm. i + 103 + i leaves: 1 1 2 2 9 (of 10, i blank cancelled) 3 1 (a miniature, recto blank but ruled) 4-5 8 6 1 0 7 8 8 5 (of 6, v cancelled) 9-13 8 14 2, COMPLETE, 23 lines written in brown ink in lettre btarde between 2 vertical and 24 horizontal lines ruled in dark pink, justification: 105 x 60 mm, calendar in gold, red and blue ink, rubrics in red, one-line initials in liquid gold on grounds alternately of blue and dark pink, similar line fillers, two- and three-line initials in blue, mauve and white on liquid gold grounds infilled with sprigs of flowers or fruit, each text page with a border in the outer margin consisting of sprays of flowers interspersed with blue-and-liquid-gold scrolling acanthus, 10 three-quarter borders of flowers and fruits interspersed with red-and-blue and blue-and-white scrolling acanthus inhabited by birds and grotesques on liquid gold grounds, 5 architectural or plain rectangular borders in liquid gold, 15 LARGE MINIATURES, three with additional vignettes in rectangular spaces below the principal scene (5 leaves cropped touching border of miniature, occasional stains and smudges to margins, a few small losses and restoration of pigment). Late 17th-century speckled calf, spine gilt in six compartments (light damage to lower cover). PROVENANCE: 1. Made in Rouen, presumably for the female donor depicted on f. 98v 2. Early inscription, f. 21v 3. 'Bertrand estant a Forges s'amusoit a brouiller ce livre tant chosy pour son antiquite le quinzieme d'aoust 1631', inscription on verso of end flyleaf 4. Unidentified coat of arms (three silver anchors on a red ground) painted over the lower border of the miniatures on f. 13 CONTENTS: Calendar of Rouen in French ff.1-12v (Austreberte, Feb. 10, blue; Ursin, June 10, red; Romain, Oct. 23, gold; Ursin, Dec. 30, red); Gospel sequences ff.13-21, 21v blank; f.22v miniature on verso, recto blank; Hours of the Virgin, use of Rouen ff.23-58v: matins ff.23-29, lauds ff.29v-38v, prime ff.39-42, Hours of the Cross ff.42v-44, terce ff.44v-46v, sext ff.47-49, none ff.49v-51v, vespers ff.52-55v, compline ff.56-58v; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.59-61v; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.62-72v; Office of the Dead, use of Rouen ff.73-98; Prayers to the Virgin ff.98v-102v, f. 103 blank ILLUMINATION: This manuscript is an attractive and typical example of a Rouen Book of Hours of the end of the fifteenth century. Rouen hours were produced in quantity for the middle-market book trade, a circumstance reflected in the character of the present manuscript. Its miniatures correspond to compositions found in similar Rouen manuscripts, e.g., several reproduced in R. Watson, The Playfair Hours , London 1984. Here, however, three of the miniatures were placed incorrectly, so that the Annunciation to the Shepherds, the Crucifixion and Pentecost preface the wrong texts. In contrast, the Tree of Jesse, the subject of a full-page miniature on a single leaf facing the miniature of the Annunciation and the opening of the Hours of the Virgin, is highly unusual in a manuscript Book of Hours. Where the subject is included it is more often within the border around the annunciation; for example, the single instance of this subject in the entire Walters Art Gallery collection of French Books of Hours (W.245, use of Angers: L.M. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery , II, cat. 168). The ruling on the reverse of the present example shows that it was made for this manuscript, and its prominent position suggests that the subject must have had special meaning for the original owner. The subjects of the miniatures are: f.13 St. John on Patmos f.22v Tree of Jesse f.23 Annunciation, with Adam, Eve and the serpent posed in the architecture of the border f.29v Visitation f.39 Nativity; vignette: the horned Moses kneeling before God who appears in a bush f.42v Annun
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