Book of Hours - Use of Paris, Paris c.1490-1500
Heures à l'usage de Paris c.1490
|Kalendar leaf for April |
Paris composite calendar
[Private collection in the U.K.]
|Verso of calendar leaf |
- the border is identical on recto and verso on all leaves
[Erased inscriptions in brown ink on both sides are family records, one about a "Francois" born in April 1567]
'Paris c.1490' (Geometrical Borders) use of Paris c.1490-1500, Latin and French
155 ff. (incomplete) c.151/153 x 103/107 mm. 19 lines, elegant bastarda script (c.85 x 55 mm)
A few of the remaining large miniatures are only known from reproductions and sales on ebay.
The style has a general resemblance to the miniatures in Ms. Ludwig IX 15 (now: J.Paul Getty Museum).
This manuscript is of particular interest because it was written by a very professional scriptorium (or 'Librarie') in Paris, where the scribe furnished the complete text, and the owner then sometimes went to an illuminator of his/her own choice to have it decorated, when they could afford it. This is best documented by comparison with a somewhat later manuscript by the same scriptorium, now in Forschungsbibliothek Gotha (Gotha Memb. II 70), where the decoration is in a completely different style.
Cf: Ina Nettekoven: Das Gothaer Stundenbuch. Ein bilderreiches Pariser Stundenbuch um 1500. Kulturstiftung der Länder - PATRIMONIA 312, Gotha 2007, p.5-32;
The one and two-line initials in both manuscripts may have been furnished by a house artist of the 'Librarian', but borders and miniatures are by another master, without any stylistical relation to each other.
Provenance: Ex Sotheby's Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 20 June 1989 lot 63 (see below).
 Large bulk of the manuscript offered for sale as single leaves on ebay 2003-2006 by E. Neumann-Walter.
 Fragment of 8 leaves sold Sotheby's 17 June 2003 lot 62:
(a) 7 leaves from Matins of the Hours of the Virgin [Use of Paris] with modern pencil foliation 36-42.
(b) Large miniature f.113 (not f.130!): Deathbed scene (Colour illustration of miniature to Office of the Dead, previously illustrated in B/W in the 1989 Sotheby's catalogue).
 Miniature of the Annunciation (f.35) sold by Hartung & Hartung 107 lot 49 [EUR 1.750];
 A lot of mixed single leaves sold in retail by Plancius in Ermelo (2006-08);
Description ex Sotheby's Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 20 June 1989 lot 63:
Book of Hours, Use of Paris, Latin and French [Paris c.1480-1500]
155ff. 153 x 103 mm, 19 lines (c.85 x 55 mm) written in a fine elegant french lettre bâtarde in dark brown ink.
Rubrics in blue. Calendar in red and blue and burnished gold. Capitals touched in yellow,
line-fillers and one-line initials throughout in liquid gold on panels of blue or brick-red,
2-line initials similar or in pink heightened with white enclosing coloured flowers on liquid gold grounds.
Panel borders on every page in designs of coloured acanthus leaves and flowers on parti-coloured
liquid gold grounds forming various geometrical patterns identical on recto and verso.
Seven large miniatures with full borders, in arched pillared compartments above large initials
and 4 lines of text, several other miniatures missing [see Contents].
Six small miniatures (8-9 lines high) with 3/4 illuminated borders including birds and grotesques.
Collation: Lacking 12 leaves (including all of second gathering) after f.4, single leaves after f.71
and f.82, 2 leaves after f.86 and probably 5 leaves after f.152, else apparently complete.
Gatherings mostly of 8 leaves, except: i6, iv6, xiv10, xxi4.
Provenance: Made in Paris for a woman represented kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the miniature on f.30v.
Erased sixteenth-century dates in the calendar seem to refer to the Saulvert and Pomville families;
an erased name on f.1 is apparently Filzian de Panneau; John A. Murphy (with his bookplate).
Binding: 19th century French black morocco gilt, gilt edges, marbled endleaves.
[Sold to Clavreuil GBP 17.600]