• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 19

    TWELVE CALENDAR MINIATURES on six leaves from a Book of Hours, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

    Price Realised  

    TWELVE CALENDAR MINIATURES on six leaves from a Book of Hours, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
    [northern France, final quarter 15th century]
    163 x 115mm. Six leaves, comprising January, March, May, June, September and October, each leaf with bas-de-page miniature depicting the labour of the month on recto and the sign of the zodiac on the verso, each miniature framed by columns and with accompanying panel border of sprays of blue and gold acanthus and naturalistic flowers on divided grounds of liquid gold or vellum, interspersed with hairline tendrils and gold terminals. The calendar in Latin, with two-line initials in liquid gold on blue grounds with white decoration, written in brown ink with rubrics and principal feasts in red (some wear and pigment loss, most noticeably to March and September labour miniatures and October zodiac, May leaf with repair to lower inner margin, with loss to edge of miniature).

    An appealing group of fully-illustrated calendar leaves from a Book of Hours. The saints highlighted in red show that it was intended for general French use, with saints allied to Paris or northern France. The style of illumination of these charming miniatures, with draperies highlighted in gold, suggests that these leaves were part of a Book of Hours produced in Rouen.

    The subjects of the miniatures are:
    January: man feasting, Aquarius, pouring water into a river; March: man pruning; Aries; May: man riding through bushes; Gemini as nude man and woman embracing in bushes; June: man mowing; Cancer; September: man treading grapes; Libra; October: man knocking down acorns for pigs; Scorpio. (6)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    Buyers from within the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on just the buyer's premium (NOT the hammer price) Buyers from outside the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on hammer price and buyer's premium. If a buyer, having registered under a non-EU address, decides that an item is not to be exported from the EU, then he/she should advise Christie's to this effect immediately.