HORAE, use of Angers. Paris: Antoine Vérard, 18 August 1502.
PRINTED ON VELLUM. Royal 8° (202 x 144mm). Collation: a8 b4 c-f8 g6 h6 qp. aa-dd8 (almanac for 1500-1521, calendar, prayers to the Virgin and Our Lord, Gospel extracts, ends b4v cut of tree of Jesse and rubric for the Hours of the Virgin 'secundum usum --', c-h Hours of the Virgin mixed with Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Spirit, Penitential Psalms, Litany, Office of the Dead, h6v ends with rubric for the Suffrages and Holy Trinity, qp rosary, suffrages of select saints, Hours for the conception of the Virgin, aa-dd Holy Trinity, Suffrages, French translation of Gospel extracts, 12 Articles, various prayers, Penitential Psalms, table of contents, device and colophon on final leaf), first leaf of quires c-qp marked 'An' [Angers] at foot. 90 leaves. 32 lines. Bâtarde type 96. 21 large and 46 small metalcut illustrations, all COLOURED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, painted and illuminated initials and line-fillers. (Colouring on one miniature smudged.) 18th-century French tree calf, flat spine gilt, leather lettering-piece, speckled edges, vellum flyleaves (very lightly rubbed). Provenance: unidentified contemporary armorials on final verso -- flyleaf inscription recording births and baptisms of the Cadaran, Meliant, Cassart and Spadins families of Brittany dating from the end of the 16th to the middle of the 17th century.
A UNIQUE VéRARD BOOK OF HOURS, one of the few printed for use of Angers. Bohatta lists two editions of this date (specifying the use of neither and stating the format of one as folio and the other as quarto) whose collations differ both from each other and from the present volume. MacFarlane cited one edition, an octavo known in two copies only (Besançon and a private collection); Moreau cites one edition and one copy (Besançon); and Lacombe omitted it altogether. A number of the cuts belong to Vostre's set 3, which Verard took over in several of his editions of Horae.
This volume illustrates superbly the streamlined production of printed Books of Hours in Paris at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. By printing material specific to a liturgical use on quires separate from material applicable to any liturgical use, Vérard could produce Books of Hours for a variety of uses with a minimum of effort by combining specific and 'generic' quires. The present volume contains 7 quires for the use of Angers (marked 'An' at the foot of the first leaf of each quire) within quires of non-specified use ('a lusaige de ---'). While the calendar (printed in a 'generic' quire) lists only standard saints, the suffrages in the Angers quires includes Breton saints such as Yvo, Sanson, and Armagillus. The birth and baptismal records written on the vellum flyleaves demonstrate that the volume had an early Breton owner and that it remained in that area until at least the middle of the 17th century. Cf. Bohatta Livres d'Heures 734 and 735; MacFarlane 226; Moreau Inv. Chron., 1502, 32.