BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
170 x 120mm. 110 leaves: 16, 25(of 6, lacking ii), 3-46, 5-88, 96, 10-118, 126, 13-158, 163(of 4, lacking iv), 16 lines written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 17 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 95 x 65mm, rubrics in red, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials of burnished gold against grounds of pink or blue, with infills of the contrasting colour and white decoration, similar line-endings, similar two-line initials with accompanying marginal sprays of flowerheads and gold foliage on hairline tendrils, TEN LARGE INITIALS on grounds of burnished gold with three-sided borders of sprays of naturalistic flowers on hairline tendrils with gold terminals, first calendar leaf with similar three-sided border, FOUR LARGE ARCH-TOPPED MINIATURES with similar large initials and full-page borders of blue and gold acanthus, sprays of naturalistic flowers and fruit, one on divided grounds of liquid gold (dampstaining and wear to upper margins throughout, sometimes touching text; lacking August calendar leaf, first and last leaf worn with loss restored at lower margin, f.11 with loss to lower half affecting text and restored to size, one folio partially detached, occasional rubbing or losses of pigment). Late-17th century French maroon morocco gilt with floral tools on spine (wear to extremities, some darkening).
1. The style of illumination, liturgical uses of the Hours of the Virgin and the Dead, and the feasts in the calendar (with Sts Martial, 3 July, Michiel, 16 October, Romain, 23 October) indicate that the Hours was made in Rouen for use in that diocese. Prayers are in the feminine.
2. An inscription in the margin of f.12 records the gift of the manuscript to Mr Hugon from his friend Frédéric Paradi of St Audeol (Ardeche), 30 November 1834. A prayer in Latin has been added to the lower margin of the penultimate leaf.
Calendar (lacking August) ff.1-11v; Gospel extracts ff.12-16v; Obsecro te ff.17-20v; O Intemerata ff.20-23; Hours of the Virgin, use of Rouen ff.24-61: matins f.24, lauds f.33v, and suffrages to the Holy Spirit, Sts Nicholas, Catherine, prime f.44; terce f.48v; sext f.51; one f.53, vespers f.55v, compline f.57v; Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.62-77v; Hours of the Cross ff.78-80v; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.81-83; Office of the Dead, use of Rouen, ff.84-109.
The decorative features of this attractive Book of Hours show that it issued from the highly productive workshop of the illuminator sometimes known as the Master of the Geneva Latini, and the skillful execution of the miniatures makes it likely that they were painted by the Master himself. The Master of the Geneva Latini is more appropriately named the Master of the Rouen Échevinage, his principal work being a series of secular manuscripts painted for the library of the magistrates (échevins) of Rouen from the later 1450s to the 1480s. His familiar repertoire of compositional elements and decorative vocabulary, including detailed patterning of textiles and elaborate architectural constructions, is evident in the present miniatures. Compositions were often repeated, and both the Annunciation and David in Penitence miniatures here are almost identical to compositions found in other manuscripts, such as the exquisitely illuminated Hours from the Dyson Perrins collection sold in these rooms (the Library of William Foyle, 11 July 2000, lot 47).
The subjects of the miniatures are as follows:
f.62 David in Penitence
f.84 Funeral Service