BOOK OF HOURS, use of Paris, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
164 x 106mm. iv + 235 + i leaves: apparently COMPLETE, modern pencil foliation 1-233, missing a folio after 69 and numbering two leaves 80, followed here, 15 lines in black ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 16 horizontals ruled in pink, top and bottom across margins, rubrics in dark pink in the Calendar and in red elsewhere, text capitals touched yellow, one- and two-line initials of burnished gold against grounds of pink or blue with white decoration, infills of the other colour, line-endings of similar type, three- and four-line initials with staves of monochrome-patterned pink or blue against grounds of burnished gold with ivy-leaf sprays, panel borders with hairline sprays of golden trefoils and disks with flower or fruit terminals in the outer margin of every page with a two-line initial, three-sided borders of similar type with a bar baguette on every page with a three- or four-line initial, FOURTEEN ARCH-TOPPED MINIATURES accompanied by full-page borders around a three-sided bar baguette with blue and gold acanthus alternating with sprays of naturalistic fruit and flowers, all interspersed with gold disks and penwork squiggles (occasional smudging of ink-outlining, most severe on ff.128 and 189 where miniatures carefully retouched, tiny pigment losses in pink draperies of some miniatures, offsetting from a few borders, small stains in margins of first six folios and added prayer erased from lower margin of f.1). Parisian gold-tooled calf over pasteboard, third quarter of the 16th century, blocked arabesque cornerpieces and oval centrepiece and semé with small flowerheads, surrounded by multiple fillets and roll-tooled border of hatched scrolling foliage, spine with raised bands, hatched ornament tooled in the five compartments, gilt-edges (traces of blue paint in the oval compartment of front cover, lacking two silk fore-edge ties, small cracks to joints).
1. Made for a lady represented by the kneeling figure in the miniature of the Elevation of the Host on f.30. The repeated presence of suffrages to St Margaret and the exceptional inclusion of her Legend in verse suggests the possibility that she was named Marguerite. Although the use of the Office of the Virgin is for Paris, the presence in the Calendar of Maximus in red (20 August), and in the Litany of Gatian and Lidorus would rather suggest Tours. The cult of St Neomadia (Neosnadia), to whom there are two suffrages, was limited to Poitiers. It is possible that these inclusions reflect the owner's origins rather than the place of manufacture, for the style of the illumination appears Parisian.
2. A slip of paper inserted between ff.ii and iii written in a 16th-century hand notes the dates of the deaths of Guillaume de ?Villnay and his wife Anne de Bellan, founders of the Cordeliers in city of Autun.
3. Rabutin family: record of the birth on 28 December 1634 of Antoinette Louise de Rabutin, daughter of Jacques de Rabutin and dame Phelipe de Moroge written on f.iii, and subscribed cine par sa mere Ph de moroge. The record identifies one of Antoinette's godmothers as Dame Peronne Desmarins and P. Desmarins is written in the lower margin of folio 15. Perhaps the Hours was a baptismal gift. The birth of a second daughter in 1636 is registered below the first entry. Notes inside the upper cover, partly obscured by the Beeleigh Abbey bookplate, appear to record the general confessions made by the owner up to September 1634.
4. Anatole Delorme of Orléans, 1869: inscription on f.iv
Rabutin family records and added prayers ff.i-iv; Calendar ff.1-12v; Gospel Extracts ff.13-18; Obsecro te ff.18v-22v; O Intemerata ff.22v-26v; O tres certaine esperance dame et deffenderesse ff.26v-29; Sequence of prayers, suffrages and hymns ff.30-37v: opening with the prayer to be said at Mass Je te salve tressaint & tresprecieux corps f.30, and including suffrages to a guardian angel f.33v, St Julian f.34 and St Neomadia f.34v; Mixed Hours of the Virgin, the Cross and the Holy Spirit use of Paris ff.38-107v: matins f.38, lauds f.49v, of the Cross f.61, of the Holy Spirit f.63, prime f.64v, terce f.71v, sext f.78, none f.83v, vespers f.90, compline f.99; Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.108-127v; Office of the Dead ff.128-175v; Sequence of prayers and suffrages ff.176-188v: including suffrages to Sts Michael f.177, John the Baptist f.177v, Peter f.178, Paul f.178v, Andrew f.179, Maurice f.179v, Lawrence f.180, Sebastian f.180v, Martin f.181, Nicholas 181v, Anthony f.182, Magdalene f.182v, Katherine f.183, Margaret f.183v, All Saints f.184, Peace f.184v; Legend of St Margaret in verse opening Apres la saincte passio ihesucrist alascencion puis quil es cieulx montes furent aucuns de grans bontes ff.189-211v, followed by a suffrage to Margaret f.212; Sequence of prayers to the Virgin and to Christ and suffrages ff.213-232v: opening with the verses O royne qui fustes mise et assise la sus ou trone divin en vostre devote eglise and including suffrages to Sts Michael f.225, Blaise f.225v, Micheal f.226, Hubert f.226v, to several male saints f.229, several female saints f.229v, Julian f.230v, Neomadia f.231; Suffrage to St Susanna f.233r&v; added prayer and devotions written in a 17th-century hand
The miniatures are painted in a manner very close to that of the Master of Jean Rolin. It is not only true of the compositions but also of individual figure style -- particularly the older men, with their rather heavy-jawed faces and little round ears -- and the approach to a scene. The Crucifixion, for example, with its dramatic swooning Virgin, recalls that of the Missal made for Cardinal Jean Rolin, after which the Parisian illuminator was named (Lyons, Bib. Municipale Ms 517). The treatment of the women, however, with their paler, more highly finished faces, is closer to that of Maître François, the Rolin Master's presumed pupil and successor. It seems likely that this manuscript was painted in the Rolin Master's workshop around 1460.
The subjects of the miniatures are as follows:
f.18v Pietà, the Virgin with the body of Christ across her lap and flanked by the Magdalene and John the Evangelist
f.30 Elevation of the host at the altar, a priest and two acolytes celebrating the Mass in a church with the female owner of the manuscript kneeling at a prie-dieu in the foreground
f.38 Annunciation, the Virgin kneels and gestures submissively on the left as Gabriel flies in from the right
f.61 Crucifixion, the Virgin swoons and is supported by John the Evangelist on the left of the cross, a group of soldiers on the right
f.64v Nativity with the Virgin and Joseph in adoration of the Christ Child
f.71v Annunciation to the Shepherds
f.78 Adoration of the Magi
f.83v Presentation in the Temple
f.90 Flight into Egypt
f.99 Coronation of the Virgin, Mary kneeling before the throne of God the Father, an angel holding the crown above her head
f.108 David in Penitence
f.128 Burial Service, a shrouded body being lowered into the ground with priests and mourners conducting a burial service (some repainting)
f.189 St Margaret behind bars but emerging from the back of the devil disguised as a dragon (repainted)