BOOK OF HOURS, use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum

Lot Number 22
Author
Title

BOOK OF HOURS, use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum

Year Published c.1490
Place Printed Paris
Printed By
Description BOOK OF HOURS, use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1490] A profusely illustrated Hours in a fine binding. An exceptionally rich example of the most refined style of the artist known as the Master of Jacques de Besançon, recently identified as François le Berbier fils. PROVENANCE: (1) The style of illumination and liturgical use show the manuscript to have been made and intended for use in Paris. Prayers in the feminine form – for example on ff.22v and135v – show the manuscript was destined for a woman. The initials I and M, joined by a tasselled knot, are likely to belong to her and her husband. Suffrages to male and female saints alternate and the first of these is to the Magdalene, perhaps the name saint of the owner. (2) MAURICE BURRUS, no 7. Purchased from Lefrançois, 1937. CONTENT: Calendar ff.1-12v; Gospel Extracts ff.13-20; Obsecro te followed by O intemerata ff.20v-26; Office of the Virgin, use of Paris, interspersed with Short Hours of the Cross (beginning f.46) and of the Holy Spirit (f.47v), ff.27-80; Seven Penitential Psalms ff.81-96; Office of the Dead ff.97-134v; Suffrages to Saints Christopher, Magdalene, Sebastian, Catherine, Lawrence, Apollonia, Barbara, Nicholas and Avia ff.135-144v. ILLUMINATION: The prevalent style of illumination in Paris in the second half of the 15th century can be traced through the work of three successive illuminators: the Master of Jean Rolin (see lot 9), Maître François and the Master of Jacques de Besançon (see Avril & Reynaud, Les manuscrits à peintures en France, 1993, pp.38-52 and 256-262). Alongside a prolific and more routine output, most of the prestigious commissions from the court and leading ecclesiastics were fulfilled by this trio. On the basis of the close correspondence of archival evidence with the attributed oeuvres of Maître François and the Master of Jacques de Besançon their identification as the father and son illuminators, both named François le Berbier, has been generally accepted: see M. Deldicque, ‘L’enluminure à Paris à la fin du XVe siècle: Maître François, le Maître de Jacques de Besançon et Jacques de Besançon identifiés’, Revue de l’Art, 2014, pp.9-18. This is a particularly polished example of the work of the son. In spite of the relatively small scale of the book, settings are comprehensively evoked, whether interiors, which are full of architectural detail and furnishings and often have views through windows, or landscapes, which recede convincingly showing distant and informative prospects. Saint Avia, for example (f.144) is imprisoned in the corner tower of a city wall that encompasses various buildings, while in the background another city lies beyond a river where boats ply to and fro. Scenes are not static and the choice of subject is often for a less common narrative. Rather than showing the Evangelist seated on Patmos, the Gospel Extracts open with John in the Temple at Ephesus. He stands before the priest holding the chalice as the poison that has already killed the two fallen men turns to snakes leaving the cup innocuous. Similarly the prayer to the Magdalene shows her at the house of Simon drying Christ’s feet with her hair. The palette is sophisticated and subtle with gentle gradations of tone and an attractive soft, almost dusty, finish. Flesh tones of women and youths are pale and porcelain-like. This work is comparable in quality, if not in size, to the manuscripts the Master illuminated for the princes and aristocrats of France. The subjects of the miniatures are: John the Evangelist with the poisoned chalice f.13, St Luke f.15, St Matthew f.17, St Mark f.19, Virgin and Child enthroned, attendant angels f.20v, Annunciation f.27, Visitation f.36v, Crucifixion f.46, Pentecost f.47v, Nativity 49, Annunciation to the Shepherds f.55, Adoration of the Magi f.60, Presentation in the Temple f.64v, Flight into Egypt f.68v, Coronation of the Virgin f.75, David in Penitence f.81, Burial in a Churchyard f. 97, St Christopher f.135, St Mary Magdalene f.136v, St Sebastian f.137v, St Catherine disputing f.139, Martyrdom of St Lawrence f.140, Martyrdom of St Apollonia f.141, Execution of St Barbara f.142, St Nicholas and the boys in the brine tub f.143, St Avia receiving Communion from the Virgin f.144. The historiated initial is on f.24. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION: 145 x 92mm. 145 leaves including a final blank, 19 lines, ruled space 85 x 50mm, illuminated initials throughout, ONE HISTORIATED INITIAL and TWENTY-SIX LARGE MINIATURES WITH FULL-PAGE BORDERS (lacking one leaf with a miniature before f.142, some very slight offsetting from borders onto facing margins). French 16th-century panelled calf gilt-stamped to an interlace design with central arabesques and leaves, accented with dark green paint (slight rubbing and paint loss, corners worn and joints split, lacking ties at fore-edge).
Comments
References
Provenance
Estimated Price GBP 150,000.00 - 220,000.00
( USD 193,500.00 - 283,800.00 )
Actual Price GBP 218,500.00 ( USD 321,195.00 )

Search

AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Christies
Website http://www.christies.com
Auction Name Illustrated Manuscripts from the Collection of Maurice Burros
Sale Number #12137
Auction Date May 25, 2016 - May 25, 2016
Sale Name Illustrated Manuscripts from the Collection of Maurice Burros
Total Lots 39
Description of Sale

Post Sale Description

Book Images
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>