Description: Book of Hours, use of Rouen. Illuminated manuscript on vellum, in French and Latin, [Rouen, c. 1485-1490]. 160 x 113 mm., II + 110 + I leaves, unfoliated, thirteen quires, collation: 112, 212-1, 38, 48, 58, 68, 78, 88, 98-1, 108, 118, 128, 138, blank: fol. 26, 73v, 76r, 110, lacking two miniature leaves between fols. 15-16 and 72-73, otherwise complete, fols. 13-15 misbound, text block: 92 x 58 mm., single column, 18 lines, first below top line, ruled in red ink, with full-length horizontal and vertical bounding lines, catchwords written vertically in inner lower margin, text written in dark brown ink and red in a batarde book-hand, names of months and major feasts in Calendar in gold ink, decorated with twelve large arch-topped miniatures, all but one with full floral and foliate borders, all text pages with side borders of flowers, fruits and leaves on unpainted grounds, numerous one or two-line initials on grounds alternating red, blue, and gold, line endings painted in gold on red or blue ground, a few miniatures slightly oxidized in places, but generally in excellent condition, handsome French eighteenth-century red morocco, similar in style to bindings executed by the workshop of Nicolas-Denis Derôme, known as Derôme le Jeune (1731-1790), covers framed within a gilt dentelle, elaborate fleuron at the centre, composed of two crowns, stars, and floral motifs, spine with five small raised bands, compartments richly decorated in gilt, inner gilt dentelles, marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, in comb pattern, minor wear to extremities, preserved in an eighteenth-century velvet-lined brocade bag, somewhat worn, and housed in modern red morocco-backed case, title lettered in gilt. ⁂ A lavishly illuminated Book of Hours, produced in the last decades of the fourteenth century in Rouen, France. The charming manuscript was commissioned by an unidentified but highly distinguished woman, as the final full-page miniature depicting the patroness adoring the Virgin and Child bears witness. Women predominated as owners of Books of Hours, and patronesses could request a personalised example, with the choice of particular subjects for the illustrative apparatus, and the inclusion in the opening Calendar of favoured or local saints. This manuscript contains twelve large miniatures in typical late fifteenth-century Rouen style. Characteristic features include the detailed patterning of textiles, the elaborate architectural constructions, and the borders with sprays of naturalistic flowers and fruits, framing the miniatures as well as the text. Only the miniature on fol. 27r, showing the Annunciation, is within a gilt architectural frame of flanking polygonal piers, each with a canopied statue. Text: fols. 1r-12v: Calendar, in French fols. 13r-22r: extracts from Gospels included in the Mass recited on major feast days, and prayers fols. 22r-25r, the prayer to the Virgin 'O intemerata' fols. 27r-58v: Hours of the Virgin fols 59r-73r: The Penitential Psalms and Litany followed by petitions . fols.: 74r-101v: Office of the Dead. fol. 102r-109v: prayers in French Illustration: The subjects of the full-page miniatures are: fol. 13e: Coronation of the Virgin fol. 27r: Annunciation fol. 35v: Visitation fol. 44v : Nativity fol. 48v : Annunciation to the Shepherds fol.51v: Adoration of the Magi fol. 54r: Presentation in the Temple fol. 56v: Flight into Egypt fol. 59r: David with harp, praying fol. 76v: Pentecost fol. 79v: Funeral Service fol. 103r Patroness and Angels adoring the enthroned Virgin and Child Provenance: John A. Saks (1913-1983), American book collector; bookplate on verso of front marbled flyleaf; sale Christie's New York, 20 May 1983, lot 45, $9,350 to John F. Fleming for Robert and Joan Cremin.
Notes: Category: Western And Medieval Manuscripts
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