THREE MINIATURE BOOKS OF HOURS, all use of Rome, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS ON VELLUM
I. BOOK OF HOURS [Bologna, 1447-1455]
82 x 63mm. 185 leaves including five replacement leaves (four originally with illumination): 112(i replaced), 29(of 10 lacking x, i replaced, 3-510, 610(ii replaced), 7-1010, 114, 1210(i replaced), 13-1610, 1710(i replaced), 18-1910, catchwords, 12 lines written in brown ink in a round gothic bookhand between two verticals and 13 horizontals ruled in brown, justification: 51 x 40mm, rubrics in red, one-line initials in red or blue, two-line initials in blue flourished with red or red flourished with blue, SEVEN LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS for the Office of the Virgin with staves of pink, green, mauve and white on burnished gold grounds with infills of flower sprays on blue, ONE HISTORIATED INITIAL OF THE CROSS of similar type for the Hours of the Cross (rubbed, damp staining, trimmed into some flourishing). Brown leather over pasteboard, attachments for two clasps (worn, wormholes to spine, some replacement leaves loose).
1. St Petronius, the patron of Bologna, is in red in the Calendar (3 October); the Office of the Dead is a variant of Roman Use current in Bologna; the illumination is Bolognese in style. On f.189 papa nostro nicolao refers to Nicolas V, Pope 1447-1455, previously bishop of Bologna.
2. Dr Banchieri abbot: 18th-century inscription on first paper endleaf; the same hand was reponsible for the note on Nicolas V on the verso and for the replacement leaves.
Calendar ff.1-12 (f.1 replacement); Office of the Virgin, use of Rome, with variants for days of the week and feasts ff.13-105v (ff.13 and 53 replacements): matins f.13, lauds f.27v, prime f.42v, terce f.48v, sext f.54v, none f.60, vespers f.65v, compline f.75v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome ff.106-151v (f.106 a replacement); Hours of the Cross, with indulgence ff.152-156; Penitential Psalms, Litany and prayers ff.156v-185, added prayer f.185.
II. BOOK OF HOURS [Kingdom of Naples, second half 15th century]
77 x 57mm. 203 leaves: 19(of 12 lacking i-iii), 29(of 10 lacking 1), 3-510, 68(of 10 lacking v/vi), 710, 89(of 10 lacking viii, 9-1010, 114, 129(of 10 lacking i), 13-1410), 159(of 10 lacking i), 16-2010, 219(of 10 lacking vi) 227(of 10, lacking ii, ix and x cancelled blanks), catchwords, 11 lines written in in black ink in a round gothic bookhand between two verticals and 12 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 47 x 32mm, rubrics in red, one-line initials alternately in blue flurished with red and in burnished gold flourished in light blue, NUMEROUS TWO-LINE INITIALS EXTENSIVELY FLOURISHED INTO THE MARGINS of similar type with additional patterning in red and blue, SIX THREE-LINE INITIALS IN LIQUID GOLD for the Office of the Virgin with grounds and infills of blue or maroon patterned with liquid gold, with acanthus fronds in the contrasting colour extending into the margins (lacking 11 leaves, six probably illuminated, trimmed into flourishing, some leaves worn). !8th-century Italian brown morocco panelled gilt.
1. The Calendar indicates an origin in the Kingdom of Naples: Paulinus of Nola (22 June) and Placidus (5 October), both in red, and Germanus of Capua (30 October).
2.Note in Italian dated February 1807, f.203v; shelfmark apparently dated 1842 inside upper cover.
3. Sold Sotheby's, London, 9 July, 1973, lot 72, copy of catalogue taped inside upper cover.
Calendar, lacking January to March ff.1-9; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome, with variants for the days of the week and feasts ff.10-99: matins, lacking opening f.10, lauds f.25v, prime f.43v, terce, lacking end f.49v, sext lacking opening f.53, none f.56v, vespers f.61v, compline lacking one leaf f.71v; Penitential Psalms, lacking opening, Litany and prayers ff.100-128v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome, lacking opening ff.129-192; Hours of the Cross, lacking opening ff.193-197v; Hours of the Holy Spirit, lacking opening ff.197-202.
III. BOOK OF HOURS [?Bruges, c.1480]
88 x 61mm. 152 leaves, incomplete, modern pencilled foliation includes 48a: 16(?of 8 lacking i and viii, probably cancelled blank), 26(of 8 lacking i and vi), 37(of 8 lacking vii), 4-58, 67(of 8 lacking vi), 711(?of 8 + ix-xi), 8-98, 107(of 8 lacking ii), 11-128, 137(of 8 lacking i), 148, 157(of 8 lacking viii), 167(of 8 lacking i), 17-198, 205(?of 8 lacking vi-viii probably cancelled blanks, f.151 singleton formerly used as pastedown, 15 lines written in brown ink in a rounded bookhand between two verticals and 16 horizontals ruled in pink, justification: 50 x 32mm, rubrics in red, line-endings in burnished gold or blue, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials alternately in burnished gold flourished with dark blue and in blue flourished with red, numerous two-line initials in burnished gold on divided grounds of pink and blue with white tracery, SIX FULL-PAGE BORDERS ACCOMPANYING LARGE INITIALS with staves of blue or pink with white tracery and foliate infills on grounds of burnished gold leading to bars of burnished gold, the borders of flower and acanthus sprays in liquid gold, blue, red, pink and green interspersed with burnished gold disks and ink dots (margins and some illumination worn, offsetting from border decoration showing no miniatures lost). Modern brown leather stamped in blind, title gilt, clasp.
On stylistic grounds, the book can be attributed to the Southern Netherlands, probably Bruges, c.1480. The Litany includes a section of Franciscan saints and the rounded script might indicate a book intended for the southern European export trade.
Hours of the Cross, lacking opening ff.1-6v; Hours of the Holy Spirit, lacking opening ff.7-10v; Mass of the Virgin, lacking opening ff.11-18v; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome with variants ff.19-91v: matins lacking opening f.19, lauds lacking opening f.41, prime f.53, terce f.58, sext f.62, none f.66, vespers lacking opening f.70, compline f.77; Penitential Psalms, lacking opening, and Litany ff.92-113v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome, lacking opening ff.114-150; one leaf from the Obsecro te f.151. (3)