BOOK OF HOURS OF ANTHONY OF BURGUNDY, use of Rome, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]
The Book of Hours of the Grand Bâtard, richly illuminated in Paris with miniatures and border roundels, some with unusual subjects, historiated initials and delightful borders with drolleries and his arms, badges and motto, in exceptionally fine condition.
(1) ANTHONY OF BURGUNDY (1428/9-1504): integral to the borders are his coat of arms ff.43, 100, 251; motto NUL NE SI FROTE around his badge of the barbican, ff.14, 23, 30v, 46, 70, 93, 105, 112, 122, 138, 163, 223, 227, 229, 231v, 234v, 236, 243, 244, 252, 257v; motto on a banderole ff.19, 21, 35, 86, 239v, 248. In the calendar St ?Souplice has been replaced in red with St Anthony (17 January), who also appears in the litany and suffrages. (2) CHARLES-JOSEPH PIETERS (1782-1863): his sale Ghent, 23 May 1864, lot 964, with binding by Pierre-Corneille Schavye of Brussels (1796-1872); bought by (3) AMBROISE FIRMIN DIDOT (1790-1876): his sale Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 26 May 1879, lot 22. (4) HENRY YATES THOMPSON (1838-1928): his book plate, purchased from Belin 1895; M.R. James A Descriptive Catalogue of Fifty Manuscripts from the Library of Henry Yates Thompson, 1898, no 12; Illustrations from One Hundred Manuscripts from the Library of Henry Yates Thompson, fifth series, pl.LVI; his sale Sotheby’s, 23 March 1920, lot 59. (5) LT-COL. SIR WILLIAM THOMLINSON (1854-1943), sold Sotheby’s 21 February 1938, lot 507. (6) MAURICE BURRUS, no 16. Purchased from Maggs in 1938.
Calendar on Parisian model ff.1v-13; ruled blank f.14; Gospel extracts ff.15-22; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.23-30; Mass of the Virgin ff.30v-37v; Obsecro te and O intemerata ff.38-45v; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome ff.46-137v; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.138-162v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome , ff.163-220v: matins f.174; hymns to the Virgin for the days of the week ff.221-229v; Salve sancta facies ff.230-231; suffrages ff.231v-251v; Hours of St Barbara ff.252-257; Athanasian Creed ff.257v-262; Psalms and prayers ff.262-265v.
The illuminator of Anthony’s Hours was active in Paris, judging by the influence on his style of Maître François, a dominant figure there c.1460-1480, but was also aware of developments in court centres to the south, particularly of Jean Colombe in Bourges (fl. 1463-1493), as seen in the ornately sculpted architecture and the fictive scrolls carrying the text below miniatures. The unusual scenes required by the lavish illustrative programme were conceivably suggested by Anthony’s own chaplain; Anthony himself might appear in the striking miniature on f.163. If, as seems likely, the commission postdates early 1477 when the rout of the Burgundian army at Nancy left personal possessions to be pillaged, Anthony may have needed a new Book of Hours, a need supplied by this fine example of Parisian illumination.
The subjects of the large miniatures with related border roundels are as follows: St John f.15, St Luke f.17, St Matthew f.19, St Mark f.21, Pentecost f.23, Annunciation f.46, David f.138, Nobleman surprised by Death f.163, St Barbara f.252.
The subjects of the large miniatures are as follows: Virgin and Child enthroned f.30v, Apocalyptic Virgin with the Child f.38, Virgin suckling the Child f.43, Visitation f.70, Nativity f.86, Annunciation to the Shepherds f.93, Adoration of the Kings f.100, Presentation in the Temple f.106, Flight into Egypt f.112, Coronation of the Virgin f.133.
The subjects of the historiated initials are as follows: Office of the Dead f.174, Virgin and Child f.221, Meeting at the Golden Gate f.223, Virgin with Child riding a hobby-horse f.124v, Virgin suckling the Child f.225v, Virgin and Child f.226v, Pieta f.227, Annunciation f.229, St Veronica f.230, Trinity f.231v, All Saints f.232v, Sts Peter and Paul f.233v, John the Baptist f.234v, John the Evangelist f.235, James f.236, Adrian f.237, Sebastian f.238, George f.239v, Christopher f.240v, Anthony Abbot f.242, Nicholas f.243, Michael f.244, Giles f.245, Anne f.246, Barbara f.247, Susanna f.248, Katherine f.249, Mary Magdalene f.250, Margaret f.251.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION:
152 x 110 mm. 265 leaves, TEXT AND MINIATURES, COMPLETE, 17 lines, ruled space: 91 x 54 mm, flourished and illuminated initials throughout, TWENTY-NINE HISTORIATED INITIALS WITHIN THREE-SIDED BORDERS, NINETEEN LARGE MINIATURE WITHIN FULL BORDERS, NINE WITH FOUR MARGINAL ROUNDELS (cancelled blank after f.22, small smudge to text and initial f.38). Modern limp vellum for Henry Yates Thompson, gilt title on spine, two ties.