BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
132 x 85mm. 75 vellum leaves including first and final leaves originally ruled but otherwise blank and the second leaf an inserted 18th-century titlepage, pagination from third leaf running 1-144 omitting a page between 22 and 23 and final ruled verso, followed here, apparently COMPLETE, 31 lines in brown ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 32 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 81 x 45mm, rubrics in red, one-line initials of liquid gold on grounds alternately of brown or red with gold decoration, line-endings of the same colours, two- to five-line initials with staves of blue or pink with foliate patterning in white or liquid gold against contrasting grounds of red or blue patterned with foliate decoration in liquid gold or blue, the five-line initials usually incorporating a beast or bird, THIRTEEN SMALL MINIATURES INCLUDED WITHIN THREE-SIDED BORDERS of divided grounds of black, dark brown or red with acanthus sprays of blue and gold and shaped fields of liquid gold with sprays of naturalistic flowers, FIVE LARGE ARCH-TOPPED MINIATURES accompanied by full-page borders of similar type occasionally containing beasts, birds or grotesques (pigment losses to small miniature of Visitation on p.43 and to outer corner of border on p.84, inconsequential rubbing or smudging to a few borders). French 19th-century red morocco by Chambolle-Duru with green doublures gilt and silver clasps and pins.
1. Although the manuscript is for the liturgical use of Rome, its similarity with other Hours and the presence of Sts Perpetuus (8 April), Helen (22 May) and Gatian (18 December) in the Calendar demonstrate its production in Tours: J. Plummer, The Last Flowering, (1982), p.90.
2. Francesco Maria Galasso of Bologna, Prior of San Costanzo, Perugia: note on verso of original endleaf recording his receipt of the book from Bernardo Maria Carrara on 2 June 1763.
3. Maria Antonia, Infanta of Portugal (1862-1959), second wife of Duke Robert I of Bourbon-Parma and mother of Zita, wife of Emperor Charles I: note recording her ownership dated 22 June 1885.
Calendar pp.1-12; Gospel extracts pp.13-17; Obsecro te and O Intemerata pp.17-22; Suffrages pp.22-27; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome pp.28-82: matins p.28, lauds p.43, prime p.51, terce p.55, sext p.58, none p.61, vespers p.64, compline p.70, variants p.75; Seven Penitential Psalms pp.84-93; Litany pp.93-99; Office of the Cross pp.100-102; Office of the Holy Spirit pp.103-105; Office of the Dead, use of Rome pp.106-143.
This exquisite and compact Book of Hours is the work of a gifted artist whose style encapsulates the qualities of manuscript illumination in Tours at the end of the 15th century. His miniatures combine the elegance and accessibility of Jean Bourdichon with elements and figure types adopted from Jean Poyet. Sacred narratives and figures are presented as three-quarter-length close-ups painted with a precise delicacy that would have satisfied both the devotional and the aesthetic requirements of its owners.
p.30 Procés de paradis with the Trinity above Gabriel, who will be sent to announce the Incarnation that will bring about the salvation of mankind, flanked by the Virtues, who have been disputing mankind's fate: Mercy and Truth on the right, Justice and Peace on the left
p.84 King David watching Bathsheba as she bathes her feet and legs
p.100 Christ carrying the Cross
p.103 Trinity, with God the Father holding Christ as Man of Sorrows, the Dove of the Holy Spirit hovering before them
p.106 Dives tormented in Hell with Lazarus above held to his bosom by Abraham
The small miniatures in the outer margins of the full-page borders are as follows:
p.13 St John the Evangelist; p.14 Annunciation; p.15 St Matthew; p.16 St Mark; p.17 the Virgin and Child; p.20 the Virgin in prayer; p.43 Visitation; p.51 Virgin and Joseph adoring the Christ Child; p.55 Annunciation to the shepherds; p.58 Adoration of magi; p.61 Presentation in the temple; p.64 Flight into Egypt; p.70 Coronation of the Virgin.