BOOK OF HOURS, use of Paris, in French and Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [northern France] 5 January 1501
A charming little northern French production, with prayers in French verse, signed and dated by the scribe Jean Jenequin.
(1) Signed and dated by the scribe Jean Jenequin on f.111: ‘Ces heures fure[n]t acheves par moy Jehan Jenequin le cinq[uieme] jo[ur] de janvier mil cinq[cent] et ung’. (2) 17th-century pentrials and ownership inscriptions on f.111v, including ‘Pierre Fonteinne’, ‘Jean Piron’, ‘Magdellene Piron’ and ‘Thomas Fontenne’, also ‘Pierre Fontaine’ in an 18th-century hand.
Calendar ff.1-12, Gospel Extracts ff.13-25; Hours of Virgin, with Hours of the Holy Spirit and of the Cross intermixed ff.25-69v; Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.69v-81, Office of Dead ff.81-97v, prayers to the Trinity ff.97v-99; Obsecro te ff.99-101; Suffrages, including confession to God the Father, in French, ‘Mon benoit Dieu’ ff.101-107v; prayers, in French verse, including ‘O Royne qui fustes mise’ and verses to St Bernard, in Latin, ff.108-111.
‘O Royne qui fustes mise et assise’, attributed to Guillaume Alexis, survives in thirty-odd manuscripts of the 15th and 16th centuries (See J. Sonet, Répertoire d'incipit de prières en ancien français, 1956, no 1804).
The appealing historiated initials are influenced by the late 15th-century Parisian school of illumination, but are rendered with a strong regional flavour. They are on ff.25, 39v, 40v, 69v, and 81.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION:
157 x 105mm. 111 leaves, COMPLETE, 21 lines, ruled space: 118 x 68mm, illuminated initials throughout, nine with partial borders, FIVE HISTORIATED INITIALS with three-sided borders (lacking a single text leaf after f.107, occasional cropping to margins, margin of f.67 cut with no loss to text, some repair to gutters). 19th-century vellum binding gilt.