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In Gilded Pages: Six Renaissance Prayerbooks

London, 21 February - 8 March 2018

Salvator Mundi, an opening from the Pertengo Hours, Bruges, c.1500

From the Early to the High Renaissance, a painted Book of Hours was a must-have art object for anyone of means, whether a prince or a merchant's wife. Ostensibly an aid to heavenly salvation, these prayerbooks were also shaped by more worldly concerns and, being entirely hand-made, they could be individualised to reflect the good taste, the wealth and the social status, as well as the anxieties of their owners. As personal objects intended for private use their painted pages have an intimacy, and often an informality, rarely found in more monumental works of the period: the lively and profuse decoration in colour and gold is as much a delight to present-day viewers as to their early owners. The charm and variety of these artworks are well demonstrated by the six examples here offered for immediate sale. They range in price from £25,000 to £300,000.

Exhibition highlights

  • The Lagrainge Hours

    Book of Hours, use of Paris, in Latin and French
    [Paris, c.1500]

    170 x 115mm. 211 leaves. 10 large miniatures.
    A handsome example of the work of Jean Pichore, one of the most sought-after illuminators in Paris at the turn of the 16th century, best known for the manuscripts he painted for the royal family and members of the court.

  • The Coutances Hours

    Book of Hours, use of Coutances, in Latin [Rouen, c.1470]

    110 x 80mm. 149 leaves. 16 large miniatures.
    A richly decorated small-format Book of Hours undoubtedly illuminated in Rouen, one of the most flourishing centres of book production in the 15th century.

  • The Hours of Abbot Guillaume de Bracque

    Book of Hours, use of St-Jean-Baptiste, Valenciennes, in Latin [Valenciennes, c.1520]

    165 x 110mm. 230 leaves. 11 full-page and 26 small miniatures; 10 large initials personalized for Guillaume de Bracque.
    An imposing and highly personalized luxury manuscript made for the celebrated abbot of St-Jean-Baptiste at Valenciennes, Guillaume de Bracque.

  • The Pertengo Hours

    Book of Hours, use of Rome, in Latin [Bruges, c.1500]

    88 x 62mm. 195 leaves. 16 full-page miniatures, 24 calendar miniatures, 1 historiated initial. Mid-18th century binding of Count Pertengo of Turin.
    A splendid product of the Golden Age of Flemish manuscript illumination, when naturalistic ‘scatter borders’ were introduced, and the Master of Mary of Burgundy emerged as the most inventive and sophisticated illuminator in several generations.

  • The Saintes Hours

    Book of Hours, use of Saintes, in Latin [south-western France, c.1460-80]

    95 x 65mm. 190 leaves. Five large miniatures, three large initials and panel borders throughout.
    A charming Book of Hours produced in Saintes, on the Atlantic coast of the Bay of Biscay.

  • The Hours of Anne Cossart

    Book of Hours, Use of Paris, in Latin and French [Paris c.1500]

    c.167 × 120mm. 216 leaves. 13 full-page, 2 large and 10 small miniatures, 24 calendar miniatures.
    A glittering jewel of a manuscript with illustrious provenance, illuminated by a Parisian artist known as the Master of the Chronique scandaleuse.

Exhibition information