BOOK OF HOURS, use of Sarum, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
217 x 150mm, ii + 112 + ii leaves: 16, 210(i & vii singletons), 310(vi & ix singletons), 412(ii, v, viii & ix singletons), 59(iii a singleton), 69(viii a singleton), 78, 89(iii a singleton), 98, 109(iii a singleton), 112, 125(i, iii & iv singletons), 134, ff.102-112 uncertain, all miniatures on singletons, possibly one miniature removed before f.108, 15 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 16 horizontals ruled in grey, justification: 146 x 83mm, rubrics in red, calendar with major feasts in red, text capitals touched red, one-line initials in burnished gold flourished with dark blue or in blue flourished with red, line-endings in red and blue with burnished gold disks, two-line initials in gold on grounds of blue with pink infill or grounds of pink with blue infill, all patterned with white, FOURTEEN LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS WITH FULL BORDERS, the initials with staves and foliate or chequered infills in blue, pink, white and orange on grounds of burnished gold, borders of hairline tendrils with terminals of burnished gold leaves and painted flowers, on f.8 with sprays of flowers and fruit, hybrid grotesques and a squirrel, bars in burnished gold running from the initial round the vertical and lower horizontal edges of the text, some with fleur de lys corner pieces, SIXTEEN FULL-PAGE MINIATURES WITH FULL BORDERS of hairline tendrils with terminals of burnished gold leaves and painted flowers, miniatures framed in burnished gold and with burnished gold skies, added instruction in 15th-century hand f.81, from f.21 prayers added on miniature rectos or in space on facing versos, initials never supplied (many folios darkened, some smudging of borders and occasional damage to miniatures, tarnishing of silver, some original repairs, repaired tear across miniature f.28, holes in some margins including miniature border f.102). Modern red velvet.
A BOOK OF HOURS WITH 16 MINIATURES STAMPED WITH THE GOTHIC B OF CLAES BROUWER
1. The illumination shows that the manuscript was made in Bruges and some southern Netherlandish or northern French saints appear in the Calendar. The intended market was English, for the Hours of the Virgin and the Office of the Dead are for the use of Sarum and the Calendar has many English feasts, including in red: Edward Martyr (18 March) and translation (20 June), Dunstan (19 May), Augustine, apostle of the English (26 May), Alban (22 June), translation of Thomas Becket (7 July) and feast (29 December), translation of Edward the Confessor (13 October), Edmund (16 November), Hugh (17 November), Edmund Martyr (20 November); also of note in red is St Gereon (10 October), a major patron of Cologne; the presence of St Benedict in red (21 March) and his translation (11 July) may indicate a Benedictine connection. Prayers are in the masculine.
2. Thomas Bentham: birth entry in Calendar, 24 October 1477
3. In England at the Reformation when mentions of pope and Thomas Becket scored through; vacat written beside the cancelled feast of the translation of Thomas Becket (7 July), f.4, and his memorial, f.20
4. Richard Belasyse of Great Haswell, Ludworth and Owton, county Durham (d.1599): the family took their name from Belasyse, county Durham. Richard was one of the eight sons of Richard Belasyse (d.1540) of Henknoll and Margery Errington (d.1587 aged 90), who appear on Margery's brass in the parish church of Houghton-le-Spring. He died unmarried, having made a will in 1597, which named his nephews Bryan and Charles Belasyse and John Pullan as his heirs, specifically bequeathing them all his 'Englishe bookes of storyes, cronykes and others'.
5. John Pullan or Pulleyn of Scorton (1559-1618): note on f.1 Liber Johannis Pullani ex dono Rechardi Bellasses. John was the son of William Pullan and Margaret Belasyse, Richard's sister, and inherited Scorton and other lands in Yorkshire from his grandfather Walter Pullan in 1580; around 1574 John had married Mary Tempest of Broughton. The Tempests and Pullans were staunch Roman Catholics, so that this book may have been a very practical gift as 'Popish' texts became harder to obtain. Although John Pullan left sons and probably grandsons, who may have inherited the Hours, the Scorton Pullans disappear from the Yorkshire gentry after his death: to meet the heavy fines for non-attendance at church, John had gradually sold all his lands. The Pullans' kinsman Guy Fawkes, whose mother and stepfather lived in Scorton, witnessed the remorseless ruin of otherwise law-abiding relations, along with the more violent sufferings of the Roman Catholic missionary priests, and tried to end the Protestant Establishment in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605; in 1591, John Pullan and Guy Fawkes were each left a gold ring by their connection Richard Burnand of Knaresborough (see C. Pullein, The Pulleyns of Yorkshire, 1915, pp.39-130, with reproduction of John Pullman's signature, p.121).
Calendar ff.1-6; Office of the Virgin use of Sarum ff.8-40v: matins f.8, lauds f.14, followed by Memorials to the Saints f.18, prime f.23, terce f.26, sext f.29, none f.32, vespers f.35, compline f.38; prayer in verse to be said before an image of the Virgin, Salve virgo virginum stella matutina, ff.42-45, O Intemerata ff.45-46; Obsecro te ff.46-47v; indulgenced prayer on the Seven Joys of the Virgin, Virgo templum trinitatis, ff.48-49v; sequence of prayers to the crucified Christ, the Cross, His wounds, Omnibus consideratis paradisus voluptatis, ff.49v-51; prayer on the Seven Last Words attributed to Bede, recitation will give protection against human and diabolic enemies, prevent an unconfessed death and ensure a vision of the Virgin 20 days before death, and other prayers ff.51-54; Seven Penitential Psalms ff.56-60v; incipits of first twelve Gradual Psalms and last three in full ff.60v-62; Litany and prayers ff.62-66v; Office of the Dead use of Sarum ff.68-83; Commendation of Souls ff.85-92v; Psalter of St Jerome ff.94-101; Suffrages to Sts John the Baptist, f.103, Christopher, f.105, and Anne, f.107; 15 Oes of St Bridget, O jhesu christe eterna dulcedo, ff.108-112; Gaude flore virginali added with text capitals touched yellow, f.112 r&v.
This book was carefully compiled for the English market from texts for the use of Sarum or especially popular in England, like the Commendation of Souls, the Psalter of St Jerome, the verse prayer to the Virgin, that on the Seven Joys and the sequence related to the Passion. The thriving English export trade ensured that they remained current in Bruges in the second half of the century, reappearing, for instance, in the Keble-Petre Hours, see lot 61.
In the lower right corner of each miniature border appears a red stamp with the gothic letter b, used by Claes Brouwer, an illuminator who worked on a History Bible in Utrecht in 1431 and then moved to Bruges. From 1426 Bruges regulations required illuminators who sold single sheets to stamp each one with a registered mark to identify it as a local product. The gothic b has been found in at least seven other Books of Hours and on two detached miniatures from an eighth series, some of which were also for the English market (A. Arnould, Splendours of Flanders, Cambridge, 1993, nos 33-35). Not all the miniatures in this style are marked, see lot 55. These miniatures are typical of Brouwer's work, where simplified, elongated figures are set in summary landscapes against skies of burnished gold, in variations on his standard compositional patterns. The intrusion of the Coronation of the Virgin from an Infancy-Virgin cycle into the Passion cycle illustrating the Hours of the Virgin is unusual, but something similar occurs in lot 55. The book may have been assembled from pre-fabricated miniatures in some haste, an inference strengthened by the adaptation of a Mary Magdalen to serve as St Anne, the mother of the Virgin, whose cult was only beginning its rapid gain in popularity in the first half of the fifteenth century. Her inclusion suggests that the book was written to order but that the commissioner would not wait for a new miniature to be painted.
The subjects of the full-page miniatures with borders are as follows:
f.7v Agony in the Garden
f.13v Arrest of Christ
f.22v Coronation of the Virgin
f.28v Carrying of the Cross
f.34v Dead Christ supported by an angel and surrounded by instruments of the Passion
f.41v Death of the Virgin
f.55v Last Judgement
f.67v Mourners and clerics around a draped coffin in a church
f.84v Souls borne aloft by angels above the general resurrection
f.93v St Jerome
f.102v St John the Baptist
f.104v St Christopher
f.106v St Anne, unusually youthful and virginally bareheaded because she was originally a Mary Magdalen, converted by the erasure of her ointment pot and the addition of a scroll Sancta anna
Large initials with bars and full borders, ff.8, 14, 23, 26, 29, 31, 35, 38, 42, 56, 68, 85, 94, 108