BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin
132 x 75mm., 203 leaves, COMPLETE. Collation 112, 2-610, 78, 810, 910 (-10 cancelled blank) 106, 1110 + 2, 12-2010, 6 Miniatures on single leaves inserted before 2/1 10/1 13/1 18/3 19/1 19/9, 15 lines, justification: 75 x 37mm., written in brown ink in an extremely FINE ROMAN SCRIPT BY ANTONIO SINIBALDI, rubrics in red, colophons in red and blue capitals, one-line initials throughout in gold on red, blue or green ground, two-line and 18 four-line initials in gold on similar ground with gold penwork decoration, the latter with inner borders of flowers and arabesques in colours and gold, 6 FULL-PAGE MINIATURES AND 6 FACING ILLUMINATED PAGES, both with fine historiated borders and script in gold on coloured panels, nineteenth-century antique-style morocco gilt with five inlaid painted enamel plaques on upper cover and an armorial enamel and 4 metal bosses on lower cover (rebacked clasps broken) edges gilt, in buckram box.
Probably made as a wedding present for the couple whose arms appear in the borders of folios 13 and 14.
1). Azure, a bicapitated lamb trippant argent. 2. Bendy bretissé of 8 argent and gules. They represent members of the Alessandri and Salviati families of Florence.
2). H. Harvey Frost, book label.
3). Sir James Caird, acquired ca. 1953, who placed the manuscript on deposit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
ff.1-12 Calendar; ff.19-90 Hours of the Virgin; ff.92-119 Penitential Psalms; ff.121-172 Office of the Dead; ff.174-183 Hours of the Cross; ff.185-192 Hours of the Holy Ghost; ff.193-203 Gradual Psalms
Inserted in the book is a letter from James Wardrop suggesting that the scribe is Alessandro da Verrazzano, but we are certain that it was written by ANTONIO SINIBALDI. An almost identical Book of Hours was sold at Sotheby's 13 June 1977 (lot 90) and was discovered by Professor A.C. de la Mare to be by Sinibaldi. It appears in her list New Research on humanistic scribes in Florence (Garzelli, Miniatura Fiorentina del Rinascemento, volume I p. 486, illustration volume II no. 1079). Sinibaldi 1443-1528 was one of the most outstanding scribes of the Italian Renaissance and his patrons include Lorenzo de Medici, the Aragonese Court at Naples and King Matthias Corvinus. Cf. Ullman, Origin and Development of Humanist Script, 1960, pp. 119-21.
According to Garzelli, op.cit., the manuscript may be attributed to the workshop of Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni di Miniato. The brothers started a co-operative for the painting of miniatures in 1461, they collaborated on some works with Botticelli, and produced Books of Hours for the Medici, Strozzi, Gondi, Estense and other noble families, very much in the style of Attavante. A very similar Book of Hours sold at Sotheby's in 1977 (13 June, lot 90) was then attributed to Boccardino Vecchio following P. D'Ancona La Miniatura fiorentina, Florence 1914 (MS 1716). However, an almost identical image of the unusual 'Raising of Lazarus' appears also in Bodl. Library Douce 9 (Pächt and Alexander, Illuminated MSS, Italian School 993; Garzelli op.cit. 1078), there attributed to a follower of Monte.
THE SUBJECTS OF THE MINIATURES ARE:
folio 13v. The Annunciation in a renaissance interior, the border of arabesques on gold ground contains putti, two saints in the corners, a medallion containing the Holy Monogram at head and the Alessandri armorial supported by putti at foot of the page
folio 14. Large historiated initial D on gold ground containing the Virgin and Child, two saints in outer corners, arabesques in blue and green, putti supporting medallions of a male head, the monogram ς and at foot the Salviata armorial
folio 91v. Bathsheba helped out of her bath by an attendant, King David on a balcony at back. Border of flowers and arabesques on gold ground containing also medallions of a female saint, at head four tears, at foot David in penitence, and two putti
folio 92. Large historiated initial D containing David holding his harp, medallions of David standing in water and a saint, at head three arrows, and two cherubs amidst flowers and arabesques
folio 120v. The Raising of Lazarus, who appears statue-like, from his tomb, Mary Magdalen kneeling before Christ, border on gold ground containing numerous skulls amidst arabesques, medallions of a skeleton and a man praying (possibly the donor?)
folio 121. Large historiated initial D containing death flying over the bodies of a cardinal and a priest, border on gold ground of flowers, arabesques, skulls and cherubs, medallions of a skeleton and a distraught woman
folio 173v. The Crucifixion, in the border on gold ground arabesques and cherubs, medallions of the Man of Sorrows, a saint and instruments of the Passion
folio 174. Large historiated initial D of Christ carrying the Cross, similar border to the facing page, medallions of the Virgin holding a Cross and a book, and a female saint
folio 184v. Pentecost in a vaulted chamber, the arabesque border contains medallions of two saints
folio 185. Large historiated initial D of St. Peter, medallions containing two saints
folio 192v. The Virgin ascending the steps to the Temple, Anna and Joachim below, border of flowers and leaves, medallions containing two female saints
folio 193. Large historiated initial A containing the youthful Virgin reading a book, the border has medallions of the Virgin holding books, and open books on gold ground