HORAE, use of Sarum, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM. [Bruges, 1455-1460
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HORAE, use of Sarum, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM. [Bruges, 1455-1460] (210 x 145mm). ii + 190 leaves: 1 2 , 2-3 6 , 4 8 (i with miniature), 5 3 (i with miniature), 6 4 (i and iii with miniatures), 7 2 (i with miniature), 8 6 (i, iii and v with miniatures), 9 11 (i, iv, and vi with miniatures), 10 9 (iii with miniature), 11 9 (viii with miniature), 12 5 (iv with miniature), 13 5 (iii with miniature), 14 6 (i and iv with miniatures), 15 5 (i with miniature), 16 9 (ii with miniature), 17 9 (v with miniature), 18 11 (i and v with miniatures), 19 9 (i with miniature), 20 8 , 21 9 (iii with miniature), 22-23 8 , 24 9 (i with miniature), 25 9 (vi with miniature), 26 9 (iv with miniature), 27 7 , all full-page miniatures on inserted singletons, complete except for the likely loss of an inserted leaf with a miniature before f.38, 19 lines written in black ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 20 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 118 x 65mm, rubrics in dark pink, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials alternately of burnished gold flourished with blue and blue flourished with red, two-line initials of burnished gold against grounds and infills of both pink and blue with white penwork decoration, often including flowers or birds, and marginal sprays of gold leaves and small colored disks on hairline tendrils, six-line initials with monochrome patterned staves of blue against grounds of pink and burnished gold, the infills with tendrils of colored trefoils or fleshy acanthus leaves against gold, each of these TWENTY-EIGHT LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS ACCOMPANIED BY FULL-PAGE BORDERS with tendrils of fleshy curling acanthus leaves of blue, pink, green and orange against grounds of burnished gold surrounded by hairline sprays with leaves, disks and flowerheads of colors and gold, similar borders on the facing pages surround the TWENTY-SEVEN FULL-PAGE MINIATURES within frames with golden quatrefoils at the corners linked by fields of pink and blue bordered with burnished gold and patterned with liquid gold, EIGHT SMALL MINIATURES AND EIGHT HISTORIATED INITIALS each accompanied by a three-sided border, TWELVE DOUBLE CALENDAR MINIATURES (sewing holes from pilgrim badges on blank endleaf before Calendar and from protective curtains above miniatures, minor smudging of ink-outlining of some borders, occasional spotting and staining in margins, slight wear to surface of miniatures on ff.1, 7 and 68v and areas of wear or smudging of miniatures on ff.72v, 81v, 104v, and 108v, and to border on f.25). Brown morocco gilt, covers panelled in gilt and blind, edges gilt, by Bedford; quarter morocco folding case. AN EXCEPTIONALLY RICHLY ILLUMINATED BOOK OF HOURS FROM AN IMPORTANT ENGLISH COLLECTION PROVENANCE: 1. This manuscript is an eloquent demonstration of the sophistication of the Flemish book-trade in supplying manuscripts for an international clientele, whether for export abroad or for diplomats and merchants visiting or resident in Bruges. This book was intended for an English owner, and whoever directed the completion of the work had both textual content and style of decoration appropriately customized. It is not uncommon to find Bruges Books of Hours for the English market where the Calendar includes the feasts of English saints and the Offices of the Virgin and of the Dead are for the liturgical use of Sarum, but this manuscript is one of a more select group where the appearance as well as the content has been modified to suit the taste of an English owner. Not only does the script have an English aspect but the full-page borders also appear to be English, with plump fleshy acanthus leaves forming roundels at the corners and centres. They may be the work of an English illuminator resident in Bruges, but the hairline tendrils with which the acanthus is combined are thoroughly Flemish, and it is more likely that these borders are the work of an adaptable Bruges artist. Although intended for export to
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