CHD Dismembered Manuscripts
Book of Hours - Use of Rouen - Rouen c.1500-1510
Collecting fragments from eBay Sellers

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Calendar leaf for December (f.12v - with St.Ursin on the 29th)
Late owners name in brown ink: Pierre Cann
Private Collection

  • Rouen c.1500 - Book of Hours, use of Rouen, Rouen c.1500-1510
    87 ff. 173/175 x 120/124 mm. 20 lines (110 x 70 mm), written in a curious tumbling and uneven textura script.
    With a few mediocre miniatures, claimed to be in the "Style of the Master of Philippe de Guelders".

    Various single leaves sold by N-W in Leipzig.
    Two leaves are at auction at Reiss & Sohn 26 April 2006 lot 694 and 695
    Provenance: Not identified in any 19th cent. auction catalogues.
    Sold Sotheby's London 2 Dec. 2003 Lot 89, with a now valuable description of its misbound state
    see: Sotheby's Western Manuscripts and Miniatures

    Use of Rouen (passim)
    The number of dispersed Miniatures and leaves from dismembered Rouen Hours produced c.1490-1525 is immense. Dismembering such Books of Hours has done no harm, since most of them were produced on a commercial scale without any customized contents.
    Leaves from two calendars were sold recently, no other complete newly dismembered manuscript seems, however, to be on the market right now.

    Sotheby's Western Manuscripts and Miniatures
    2 Dec. 2003 LOT 89 [SALE L03242]

    Normandy (probably Rouen), c.1500-1510

    87 leaves, plus one medieval flyleaf, c.175mm. by c.124mm., originally in quires of eight, now misbound and lacking leaves before fols.14, 19, 23 and elsewhere, ruled in red ink for 20 lines, written space 110mm. by 70mm., written in dark brown ink in two sizes of a gothic bookhand, capitals touched in yellow, rubrics in red, one and 2-line initials and line-fillers in burnished gold on pink and blue grounds with white tracery throughout, panel borders of blue and gold acanthus, flowers, fruit and foliage on parti-coloured grounds beside the text on the verso of each leaf, EIGHT LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS, 4 to 5 line high, on burnished gold grounds, the initial in blue with white tracery enclosing red, blue and green flowers, with three-quarter panel borders, FIVE LARGE MINIATURES WITH FULL BORDERS, the miniatures in full colours in arched compartments above 3 lines of text and an illuminated initial, somewhat stained and rubbed, the paint flaking in some places, with general signs of wear and tear, modern binding of stamped brown leather, somewhat stained.

    Written and illuminated in Rouen: the Hours of the Virgin are Use of Rouen, the Calendar includes St.Romanus in red, and the style is comparable with Rouen illumination. The manuscript remained in Rouen until at least the seventeenth century: inscriptions on the verso of the flyleaf record that it belonged to one Marguerite Letort of Rouen, living near to the Harangerie gate, in 1642, and was left by her to her son Pierre Canu [or Pierre Cann], who wrote his name in the lower margin of a number of leaves.

    The illumination is in the general style, albiet at a more popular level, of the MASTER OF PHILIPPE OF GUELDERS, named after the frontispiece portrait of the duchess, her husband, Renè II of Lorraine and her children in a Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony dated 1506 (cf. Plummer, Last Flowering, p.69-71, nos.91 and 92). This artist appears to have worked in both Rouen and Paris in the early years of the sixteenth century. The miniatures show the traditional subjects for the beginnings of Matins, Prime, the Office of the Dead, the Penitential Psalms, and the Hours of the Holy Spirit.

      The subjects of the miniatures are:
    1. Folio 21, the Annunciation, 100mm. by 70mm., the Virgin and Gabriel in an interior.
    2. Folio 25, the Nativity, 101mm. by 71mm., the Virgin and Joseph kneeling before the Child, in a stable with the ox and ass, in a landscape.
    3. Folio 33v, Job and the Three Friends, 101mm. by 70mm., Job seated on the dungheap, to the right his three comforters, in a landscape [Sold eBay item=3746848355]
    4. Folio 34, King David, 101mm. by 80mm., David kneeling in prayer, his harp in its bag beside him, a bust of God the Father in the sky to the top left. [Sold eBay item=3746852974]
    5. Folio 44, Pentecost, 100mm. by 70mm., the Virgin and Apostles in an interior, the Holy Ghost descending from above. [Sold Reiss & Sohn 26 April 2006 Lot 694]
    Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.
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    Last update 12.04.2006

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