BOOK OF HOURS, use of Toul, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Bruges, c.1440 and Lorraine, early 16th century]
A Book of Hours made in Bruges for the uncommon use of Toul, Lorraine, with miniatures by the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht on inserted leaves stamped with a letter b, in accordance with Bruges regulations of 1426/1427, in an early 16th-century unrecorded panel-stamped binding by Thierry Richard to incorporate additions made in Lorraine.
(1) The decoration and stamped miniatures show that the manuscript was produced in Bruges c.1440 with content for Lorraine: Toul use, calendar (dedicatio altaris, of Toul cathedral, 3 October) and litany (Goeric, Romeric, Dié, Victoriana, Aprinciana). (2) For a lady called AGNES additions were made in the early 16th century, including the translation of Gerard, Bishop of Toul, 21 Oct, in the calendar and Goeric, Menna and Genesius in the opening gathering of prayers, and the book was rebound in Lorraine. (3) Bought at P.G. 17 July 1923. (4) Catalogue de manuscrits […] composant la bibliothe'que de M. F. [FERNADENT] Paris, Ho^tel Drouot, 28 January 1935, lot 14. (5) MAURICE BURRUS, no 12. Purchased from Lardanchet, Lyon, 1935.
Added prayers for famule tue Agneti ff.1-12; Calendar ff.13-18; Hours of the Cross ff.20-22v; Mass of the Virgin ff.24-29v; Office of the Virgin, use of Toul, ff.31-64; added prayers f.64v; Penitential Psalms and litany ff.66-77v; Office of the Dead, use of Toul, ff.79-100v; prayer added for famuli tui Agneti f.101.
The full-page miniatures on inserted leaves are in the distinctive style of the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht, named from this canon of Utrecht Cathedral’s gift to the nearby Charterhouse (Utrecht UB ms 252). Active from the 1420s in Utrecht, the Moerdrecht Masters also moved into Brabant and Flanders, where some of their miniatures were stamped, as required in Bruges by regulations of 1426/1427 to control the import of miniatures from Utrecht and elsewhere (S. van Bergen, ‘The Use of Stamps in Bruges Book Production,’ Books of Hours Reconsidered, ed. S. Hindman and J. Marrow, 2013, pp. 323-337). The regulations were clearly ignored, since only twenty-five other manuscripts are known with stamps, most by the Moerdrecht Masters and many for the English export market. An Hours for the Use of Toul is an unusual addition to the Masters’ oeuvre and a further demonstration of the range of Bruges book production in the 15th century.
The subjects of the miniatures are as follows: Man of Sorrows f.19v, Annunciation f.13v, Virgin and Child f.30v, Arrest of Christ f.37v, Christ before Pilate f.43v, Flagellation f.47v, Christ Carrying the Cross f.50v, Crucifixion f.53v, Descent from the Cross f.56v, Entombment f.61v, Last Judgement f. 65v, Office of the Dead f.78v.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION:
185 x 122 mm. ii + 100 + ii leaves, modern partial foliation numbers f.31 wrongly as f.30, the final original leaf numbered f.98 is actual f.100, 21 lines, ruled space: 100 x 68 mm, illuminated initials throughout, TWELVE FULL-PAGE MINIATURES WITH BORDERS, STAMPED WITH A GOTHIC B, FACING RECTOS WITH MATCHING BORDERS (miniature f.53v rubbed and partly reinforced, slight wear to some gold backgrounds, slight wear to some borders, some staining to text ff.1-2).
EARLY 16TH-CENTURY BROWN CALF BY THIERRY RICHARD stamped with panels of the Beheading of the Baptist and the Baptism of Christ on the upper cover and St Nicholas signed theodric[us] ricardi on the lower cover, two clasps. Theodricus Ricardi/Thierry Richard has been associated with Paris from his signed St Barbara panel on a Parisian incunable of 1493 from the Toul Dominican convent (D. Gid and M.-P. Lafitte, Les reliures à plaques françaises, 1997, no 36). This Toul Hours permits an identification with the binder of that name employed by the chapter of St-Dié-des-Vosges in 1523 (M.-J. Gasse-Grandjean, Les livres dans les abbayes vosgiennes du Moyen Âge, 1992, p.74). His signed St Nicholas panel is known on one other volume (Gid and Lafitte, no 169); the Baptist panels are apparently unrecorded.