BOOK OF HOURS, use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Bruges, c.1460]
A handsome and generously illustrated Book of Hours, typical of those made in Bruges for export to England, in a 19th-century French open-work silver binding.
(1) Written and illuminated in Flanders for the English market, with Sarum liturgy, an English selection and sequence of texts (including suffrages after lauds and the Commendation of Souls), and illumination clearly influenced by English taste. (2) The second flyleaf has an added armorial shield in 17th-century style: azure, three wheat-sheaves or, two and one, as borne by several families. (3) Binding with engraved arms of ADOLF KARL HUBERT FREIHERR RAITZ VON FRENTZ AUF SCHLENDERHAN (1797-1867) and his wife AMALIE GRÄFIN VON BISSINGEN-NIPPENBURG (1804-1848), married in 1824; the lion supporters suggest that the binding may not have been made for them. (4) Armorial bookplate of their grandson CARL FREIHERR RAITZ VON FRENTZ HATTENHEIM (1873-1953), probably sold with his library, Nassauisches Kunstauktionhaus, Wiesbaden, 13 -14 December 1930. (4) MAURICE BURRUS, no 5.
Calendar with English saints ff.1-6v; the Fifteen Oes ff.8-13; suffrages ff.15-35v; Hours of the Virgin ‘secundum usum Sarum’, with suffrages after lauds ff.37-74; prayers to the Virgin, Christ and saints ff.74v-92v, including the faced Salve regina f.76, the O intemerata and Obsecro te ff.80-83, the Seven Joys of the Virgin ff.83-85v; Penitential Psalms ff.94-99v; Gradual Psalms ff.99v-101; litany with English saints (Swithin, Birinus, Edith), petitions and collects ff.101-106v; Office of the Dead use of Sarum ff.108-125; Commendations of Souls ff.127-136v; Psalms of the Passion ff.138-142; Psalter of St Jerome ff.144-152, with preceding rubric and prayer f.142r-v.
The ambitious miniatures, distinguished by the emphatic verticality of the elongated figures with their simplified contours and small heads, are by the hand of a Book of Hours in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (ms 84), which has been localised to Ghent for its stylistic connections to the Masters of the Beady Eyes, thought to be based there (N. Morgan and S. Panayatova, A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges, Pt 1 Vol. 2, The Meuse Region, Southern Netherlands, 2009, no 191). For this miniaturist a localisation in Bruges seems more likely. The English-style initials and bars terminating in sprays of leaves, as well as the patterned miniature frames, are typical of books with miniatures by the Mildmay Master, a specialist in the English market and an associate of Willem Vrelant, the illuminator favoured by the Dukes of Burgundy, who was active in Bruges from 1451. The harmoniously coordinated colours of miniatures and borders suggest that they were produced together in an integrated campaign.
The subjects of the full-page miniatures are: Christ as Salvator mundi with angels f.7v, Trinity f.14v, Sts John the Baptist f.16v, John the Evangelist on Patmos 18v, George and the Dragon f.20v, Christopher f.22v, Martyrdom of Thomas Becket f.24v, St Anne with the Virgin and Child f.26v, Mary Magdalene f.28v, Katherine f.30v, Barbara f.32v, Margaret f.34v, Agony in the Garden f.36v, Betrayal and Arrest f.42v, Christ before Pilate f.54v, Flagellation f.58v, Christ Carrying the Cross f.61v, Crucifixion f.64v, Deposition f.67v, Entombment f.70v, Last Judgement f.93v, Raising of Lazarus f.107v, Soul being lifted to heaven by angels f.126v, the Man of Sorrows with Instruments of the Passion f.137v, St Jerome f.143v,
The subjects historiated initials are on ff.48, 49, 49v, 50 (2), 50v, 51, 52, 76, 80, 83, 86, 86, 86v (2), 87 (2), 87v (2), 88 (2), 89.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION:
200 x 140mm. 152 leaves, apparently COMPLETE, 21 lines, ruled space: 122 x 75mm. Illuminated initials with bar-borders throughout, TWENTY-FIVE FULL-PAGE MINIATURES within full borders on inserted leaves and TWENTY-TWO HISTORIATED INITIALS within three-sided borders (slight cockling at bottom of opening leaves).19th-century French archaising binding in heavy openwork silver over wood boards, upper cover with the arms of Raitz von Frentz auf Schlenderhan, lower cover with the arms of von Bissingen-Nippenburg, two clasps (slightly tarnished).