HORAE, use of Rome, in Latin and French. Paris: Philippe Pigouchet, [after 1492].
PRINTED ON VELLUM, 8° (162 x 105mm). Collation: A-I8 K4 L-N8 (A1r Pigouchet device, A1v almanac in French, A2r anatomical man, A2v-8r calendar, B1r-3r Gospel sequence [Martyrdom of St. John, 3 small cuts], B3v-8v Passion according to St. John [Betrayal] C1r-D6r Hours of the Virgin: Matins-Lauds [Visitation], D6v-8r Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost [Crucifixion, Pentecost], E1r-G2v Hours of the Virgin: Prime-Compline [Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Massacre of the Innocents, Coronation of the Virgin], G3r-H4r Seven Penitential Psalms [David's Penitence], H4v-K4v Office of the Dead [Les Trois Vifs, Les Trois Morts, Dives and Lazarus], L1r-N3r Suffrages [25 small cuts], N3v-8r Seven prayers of St. Gregory, and various prayers in Latin and French, including prayers to the Virgin for saying on Saturday and Missus est Gabriel [Mass of St. Gregory, 2 small cuts], N8r colophon, N8v blank). 96 leaves (of 100, lacking C1, E3, 4 and 6). 24 lines. Type: 3:81 Bâtarde (text), 2:65G (almanac and border inscriptions), 4:130G (almanac heading). Large metalcut Pigouchet device, anatomical man, and 15 (of 18) full-page metalcuts from Pigouchet's set 1 (cf. Davies) FINELY ILLUMINATED IN GOLD AND COLOURS BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND. 30 smaller metalcut portraits, multiple-piece ornamental and historiated border, those surrounding large cuts coloured and illuminated, one- and 2-line initials and paragraph marks in blue, MS guide-letters, ruled in red. Outer formes printed on the flesh-side and inner formes printed on the hair-side of the vellum sheets. (Very slight rubbing to painted miniatures, slight bleeding through of colouring, names of 3 saints erased from H1v.) Early 20th-century blue morocco tooled in gilt, the sides panelled with blue-green morocco on-lays and tooled in blind reminiscent of the 15th century, vellum endleaves, old gilt and gauffered edges, signed by Rivière and Son (short crack at upper hinge). Provenance: inserted first vellum leaf painted with 'S' in gold on a stem of fleurs-de-lis with 3 blossoms, flanked by initials 'F' and 'AR', arms painted on shield of printer's device, and early inscription erased from verso; Clarence S. Bement (bookplate); Hannah D. Rabinowitz (red leather booklabel).
A rare, finely illuminated Book of Hours printed by Pigouchet. 'Among the printers of the beautifully decorated French Books of Hours in the XVth and early XVIth Centuries, Pigouchet is pre-eminent' (Davies, Murray French, I, p.265). The metalcuts are from Pigouchet's set 1, as enumerated by Davies in his ground-breaking survey of Books of Hours in the Fairfax Murray collection. It was in fact preceded by another set of metalcuts in use by Pigouchet about 1488, and in 1492/3 by Jean Morand. Although its almanac commences for the year 1488, the present Pigouchet Hours was unlikely to have been printed before 1492, when his type 3 (81B) was introduced; the metalcuts too are not found in editions confidently datable to before 1492. The majority of the more than 75 pre-1501 editions printed by Pigouchet for himself or for other publishers contained an almanac for either 1488-1508 or 1489-1508, even when they were printed as late as 16 September 1498 (see following lot). Their continued use points to the standardisation that had come to characterise Books of Hours, both manuscript and printed, by the final years of the 15th century.
RARE; ISTC lists 3 copies only, one each in America, France and England. Brunet Heures 2; Bohatta(1924) 508; Goff H-364; Lacombe 6.