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    Sale 12137

    Illuminated Manuscripts from the Collection of Maurice Burrus (1882-1959)

    25 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    BOOK OF HOURS OF ANTHONY OF BURGUNDY, use of Rome, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]

    Price Realised  


    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.

    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.

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    Pre-Lot Text

    Anthony of Burgundy, le Grand Bâtard (c.1428/9-1504)

    The eldest survivor of the illegitimate sons of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, Anthony was known not by his titles of Count of La Roche or Lord of Tournehem, but as the Grand Bâtard or the Bastard of Burgundy, even after his legitimation in 1475. Advanced by Philip, he bore his father’s arms, differenced by a bend gules or argent, and in 1456 became a Knight of the Golden Fleece. Under his half-brother, Charles the Bold, his military activity intensified until the disaster at Nancy in 1477 brought the Duke’s death and his own captivity. Louis XI of France, securing his person as a possible Burgundian heir, obliged Anthony to change allegiance but, like many families with lands under both French and Burgundian-Habsburg control, Anthony’s son Philip (c.1450-1498) remained actively in Habsburg service. Anthony, adding the French Order of St Michael to his Golden Fleece, became a councillor of Charles VIII in 1492 and a chamberlain to the young Duke of Burgundy in 1494. Tournehem, under French control 1477-1493, was his usual residence, where Philip’s widow and infant son Adolf joined him; on Anthony’s death, Adolf inherited.

    Anthony’s royal blood and determination to excel made him a leading member of the spectacular Burgundian court in peace, in the tournament lists and at war; in his fifties he became a respected figure at the French court. He shared not only his father’s and half-brother’s tastes in painting – his glamorous good looks were recorded by Rogier van der Weyden (Brussels, MRBAB/KMSKB) – but also their love of fine books. No inventory survives of his collection which was obviously considerable, since some thirty-six works or compilations are known, including one made for his wife, Jeanne de Viefville (d. by 1475). He employed the Master of Anthony of Burgundy, the great illuminator named from his patronage, and book artists familiar from the ducal accounts: van Lathem, Liédet, Vrelant and the scribe Aubert, who reported that he was moult enclin to belles histoires (Dülmen, ms 50). After 1477, Anthony apparently turned more to France, although one Netherlandish manuscript was certainly completed for him after that date (Bodmer Lib., ms 49).

    Apart from a Missal, probably for the Franciscans of Mons (BL, Harley 2967), his Book of Hours (lot 20) the most personal of books, is the only known witness to Anthony’s formal devotions; a further nine of his manuscripts have specifically religious content. Sixteen works are historical, most famously his Froissart (remarkably with its original bindings) and Valerius Maximus, ex-Breslau (Wroclaw) and now in Berlin. The Miroir historial abrégé de France in Latin with French summaries (lot 21) stands out since, like the Dukes of Burgundy, Anthony preferred to read French: his other surviving Latin narrative was not apparently made for him (The Hague MMW 10 A 21).

    The Grand Bâtards love of books, fostered and encouraged by the libraries of Philip the Good and Charles the Bold, continued after he swore allegiance to Louis XI. These two long-hidden volumes offer rare insights into his later life and provide an exceptional opportunity to experience the occupations and pleasures of a patron noted for his splendour even amidst the fabled luxury of the Burgundian court.

    A. Boinet, ‘Un bibliophile du xve siècle : le grand bâtard de Bourgogne’, Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, 67, 1906, Volume 67, pp. 255-269, these mss p.257.

    C. van den Bergen-Pantens, ‘Héraldique et bibliophilie: le cas d’Antoine Grand Bâtard de Bourgogne’, Miscelleanea Martin Wittek, 1993, pp. 323-354, these mss nos XXX and XXXI.

    S. McKendrick, ‘Reviving the Past: illustrated manuscripts of secular vernacular texts 1467-1500’, Illuminating the Renaissance, T. Kren and S. McKendrick eds, 2003, pp.60-78.

    H. Wijsman, Luxury Bound Illustrated Manuscript Production and Noble and Princely Book Ownership in the Burgundian Netherlands (1400-1550), 2010, these mss pp.275, 544.