BOOK OF HOURS, use of Thérouanne, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM.
[?St Omer, c.1460]
149 x 108mm. 71 leaves: 17(of 6 + i, miniature), 29(of 8 + vii, miniature), 38, 48, 57(of 6 + vii), 6-98, some calendar leaves with guide-words lower right, 17 lines in black ink in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 18 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 96 x 69mm, prickings, rubrics in red, text capitals touched red, one-line initials alternately of burnished gold flourished with dark blue and of blue flourished with red, blue and burnished gold line-endings, two- to five-line initials of burnished gold on grounds of blue and red with white penwork decoration, FOUR LARGE INITIALS WITH BAR-BORDERS, two with floral sprays in the margins, two with three-sided borders of hairline tendrils with burnished gold foliate terminals, naturalistic fruit and flowerheads, TWO FULL-PAGE MINIATURES WITH FULL-PAGE BORDERS of similar design (lacking one and possibly two leaves with miniatures, wear to miniatures and some borders and initials, borders trimmed into upper margins). 18th-century calf gilt, spine tooled in compartments incorporating flower tool, gilt turn-ins (light wear to extremities, notably to upper outer corner, lower board with slight damage at outer edge).
1. The Office of the Virgin is for the use of Thérouanne; the calendar and litany show that it was made for an owner in St-Omer. In red in the calendar are St Omer on 8 June for his translation, not usually celebrated outside the town, and 9 September, and St Bertin, founder of the great abbey just outside St-Omer, 15 July and 5 September; both are also invoked in the litany. The sparsely filled calendar does not include in black saints specific to the town of Thérouanne but does list Erkembode, abbot of St Bertin, 12 April, and Winnoc, 8 November, whose hermitage was near the abbey.
2. Bookplate inside upper cover with ?HJB monogram under earl's coronet.
Misbound miniature for the Hours of the Cross f.1v; Calendar ff.2-7; Hours of the Cross ff.8-10; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.11-13; remains of print of the Instruments of the Passion f.13v; misbound miniature for the Hours of the Holy Spirit f.14v; Hours of the Virgin, use of Thérouanne ff.15-47v: matins f.15, lauds f.22, prime f.29, terce f.32v, sext f.35, none f.37, vespers f.40, compline f.44v; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.48-59v; Quinze joyes ff.60-64; Sept requêtes ff.64-66v; prayers to the Virgin and the Holy Spirit ff.67-69.
The style of the miniatures and borders places this Book of Hours in a select group made for St-Omer, possibly within the town itself. Their production seems to have been stimulated by the work of Simon Marmion for Guillaume Fillastre, Abbot of St Bertin, since the border illuminator who worked with Marmion on Fillastre's Grandes chroniques, also contributed to these books of hours. Named by Marc Gil, the Vigneteur attitré du Maître du Mansel from his long running association with Marmion's collaborator, the Mansel Master, the artist provided these St-Omer books with equally rich borders. The miniatures, however, are less sophisticated and more obviously provincial. A Book of Hours in the Bibliothèque municipale, Arras, Ms 767, is closest in border type, for the full borders, and in figure style, while the landscape of the Crucifixion relates more to a later Hours in the group, now in Paris (BnF, Ms lat.1194). For these manuscripts and illumination in St-Omer: M. Gil and L. Nys, St-Omer gothique, Valenciennes, 2004, esp. pp.175-183.
The subjects of the miniatures are: the Crucifixion f.1v, Pentecost f.14v.