BOOK OF HOURS

PRINTED ON VELLUM

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin and French. Ces presentes heures sont a lusaige de Romme toutes au long sans requerir.

[Paris: Germain Hardouyn, 1534].

£22,500

8vo. 100 unnumbered leaves, A-M8, N4. 28 lines. Letter Bâtard. 15 large half page metalcuts, all freely illuminated in gold and colours by a contemporary hand, gold-painted architectural borders, ruled in red, to each large cut, borders to each page ruled in red painted with gold, entirely rubricated with liquid-gold initials and line-filler on alternate red and blue grounds, nine vellum leaves of additional prayers in Latin  (Gratiarum actio sanctissimae & individuae trinitati) and German in two later hands. A1r, title with Hardouin device, his printer’s device with shield overpainted with arms of the first owner, with two keys, painted architectural border, title manuscript in gold on red painted ground, sprays of flowers and laurels to the sides, A1v with verses in French beginning ‘Ohostie tressalutaire’, A2r almanac for 1534-1548, A2r-B1r calendar, B1v-3v Gospel sequence (one large cut), B3r-C3r Passion according to St. John (one large cut), C3r-E1r Hours of the Virgin (two large cuts), E1v-E2r Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost (large cut of Crucifixion), E2v-H1v Office of the Immaculate Conception and Beata Maria (seven large cuts), H2r-I2v Seven Penitential Psalms (large cut Bathsheba), I3r-K1r Office of the Dead (cut of Job on his dungheap), K1v-N4r Suffrages, prayers to the saints, hours of the Virgin, Stabat Mater, N4r-v, table of contents, early autograph illegible at foot of title page, book plate of G. Nordback on pastedown. Vellum very fractionally yellowed in places, painting to outer margin of title a little rubbed, very rare marginal thumb mark. A very good, clean copy with the painting and gold absolutely fresh and clean, in early C17th black morocco, covers bordered with double gilt rule, fleurons gilt to corners, spine with gilt-ruled raised bands, richly gilt in compartments fleurons to centres, initials F. T. gilt to centre of lower compartment, all edges gilt. A little rubbed and scratched.

Extremely rare, finely printed and beautifully illuminated Book of Hours, on good quality vellum with the cuts finely illuminated in gold and colour in a small rectangular format. The illuminator has not simply coloured the cuts beneath, but has freely painted over them or extended the painting of the figures beyond the original borders. Books of Hours were used by individuals at home rather than in church. A calendar was attached to the front so that memorial days of the saints could be identified. They were typically structured around the hourly prayers observed in monasteries, and Catholics would recite the appropriate liturgy eight times a day. These books served as symbols of status and and were often luxurious items, gifts given on important occasions.

“An important point to notice in connection with the illustrations of French ‘Books of Hours’ at this time is that they are nearly all inspired by German artists and nearly all copied from illuminated MSS.” Joseph Cundall. ‘A Brief History of Wood engraving.’

The Hardouin’s workshop dominated the market of printed Books of Hours in Paris between 1510 and 1550. Gillet Hardouin worked primarily as a printer, between 1500 and 1542, and German Hardouin was registered in the Guild of Illuminators. They were the only editors capable of both printing and illumination without commissioning other professionals. They often used fine, densely ornamented metal cut borders, however they had gone out of fashion by the time this volume was produced, which gives it a much cleaner and clearer style than its early incarnations.

The quality of their work is remarkable. It seems that they produced Books of Hours in various formats, from ordinary copies printed on paper, to those printed on vellum with woodcuts, and the most luxurious where the entire book was illuminated over the original cuts, most often on commission for a specific client for whom the book was tailored, as here where the client has had his personal arms painted on the title. Extremely rare: we have found no other copy of this edition in any online catalogues or at auction. Bohatta cites a copy seen in a private collection. Lacombe cites two other editions by Hardouyn of the same year, also for the use of Rome, but with different collations, both less substantial than this edition.

The arms on the title are very similar to those Baron Etienne de Clugny’s ( Guigard II 149), and it is probable that this work was commissioned by an earlier generation of his family. Unfortunately, we have not discovered the owner of the initials F.T. on the binding. A very rare and beautiful work.

Bohatta 1170. Not in Lacombe.

L2026

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BOOK OF HOURS

EXCEPTIONAL MINIATURE BOOK OF HOURS IN THE STYLE OF THE MILDMAY MASTER

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Flanders, 3rd quarter of the 15th-century.

£95,000

Small 8vo., 96 x 68 mm, 223 leaves on parchment, including 13 added leaves (fols 1, 10, 24, 48, 64, 71, 78, 85, 92, 103, 112, 124, 151), without the calendar, two leaves after fol. 17, the first added to the original collation, and some additions to the text at end; collation: I8+1, II8+2 (viii and leaf added after vii excised at the end), III6, IV8+1, V8, VI8+1, VII8, VIII8+1, IX-X8, XI8+2, XII8, XIII-XV8+1, XVI-XVII8, XVIII6, XIX8+1, XX-XXV8, XXVI8+2, XXVII4, XXVIII4-2 (iii-iv excised), traces of catchwords in lower margin of last verso of quires (see fols 49v, 94v, 102v, 145v, 167v, 175v and 183v). Justification 50 x 33 mm, ruled in purple for single vertical bounding lines and 16 horizontal lines for 15 written lines below top ruled line. Regular Gothic bookhand (Textualis Rotunda Formata) in brown and red, possibly by an Italian scribe. Rubrics in red; versal initials (1-line high) in blue or gold with red or black pen-work decoration throughout; psalm and prayers initials (2-line high) in burnished gold-leaf set against a square ground of blue and red with white tracery throughout; 13 large illuminated book-initials and full decorated borders on fols 2r, 11r, 25r, 49r, 65r, 72r, 79r, 86r, 93r, 104r, 113r, 125r and 152r: initials (5-line high) in blue or red with white tracery decoration set against burnished gold-leaf grounds infilled with ivy-leaves decoration in blue, red, purple and green highlighted with white tracery, borders decorated with acanthus and other leaves, strawberries and flowers in gold, blue, red, pink and green, gold bar framing text on left, right and lower border, reserved white ground of the borders on fols 2r and 25r with added shell-gold; 13 full-page miniatures in the style of the Mildmay Master, with double-bar and arch-topped frames in burnished gold and purple set within full decorated borders on fols 1v, 10v, 24v, 48v, 64v, 71v, 78v, 85v, 92v, 103v, 112v, 124v, 151v: borders decorated as above, with reserved white ground of borders on fols 1v and 24v with added shell-gold, miniatures illustrating the Crucifixion, Pentecost, Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Massacre of the Innocents, Flight to Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin, King David in prayer and Raising of Lazarus. Good quality parchment, well preserved, margins slightly trimmed, little sign of thumbing in lower right corners. Sewn on three spine bands of double-split alum-tawed skin and with bookblock edges gilt and gauffered, late fifteenth or early sixteenth century; in brown morocco with blind-fillet decoration on thin wooden boards, re-cased probably in 16th century, newer parchment flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at the beginning and the end. In modern brown cloth box. Some worming on boards and flyleaves only.

This charming Book of Hours was produced in Bruges. It is a fine representative of the devotional manuscripts from the second half of the 15th century. These books were the result of the work of a number of different artisans and artists working separately on the different phases of production – the copying of the text, the decoration of minor initials and line fillers, and the illumination of initials, borders and miniatures. The devotional texts were usually copied on dedicated single or multiple quires according to their length, with the beginnings of the canonical hours copied on rectos; they were then assembled in volumes whose textual sequences corresponded to the requirements of the individual customers, with dedicated miniatures inserted to face the beginning of the canonical hours and other illumination and decoration added to the clients’ taste and means. All the illuminated miniatures of the present manuscript are on the verso of added singletons whose parchment is often heavier and thicker than the soft and beautiful parchment of the quires, which shows hardly any visible difference between the flesh and the hair side.

It is therefore unusual to find manuscripts made by the same scribe, rubricator, decorator and illuminator/s, but each of their components may find matches in different manuscripts. This manuscript shows the same textual and illustrative sequence as London, British Library, MSS Harley 1853 and Stowe 26, but for the absence of the Mass of the Virgin and perhaps of the Psalter of St Jerome at the end. The three manuscripts are also similarly diminutive. Its beautiful Italianate Gothic hand matches that of Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum MS. W. 179. The rubrication and decoration of minor initials and line-fillers is close to that of Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61, BL Stowe MS 26, Walters MSS 190 and 196 (made for Queen Eleanor of Portugal), and the Derval Hours, Sotheby’s, 5 July 2005, lot 98 (made for Jean de Châteaugiron, seigneur de Derval and chamberlain of Brittany). The accomplished decoration of the borders finds correspondence in Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61 and possibly Chicago, Newberry Library, Case MS. 35 (the Mildmay Hours).

The sequence of miniatures for the Hours of the Virgin corresponds to the cycle of the Infancy of Christ as was customary in Southern Flanders at the time (see B. Bousmanne, “Item a Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur,” Bruxelles, 1997, p. 164).  The manuscript was undoubtedly illuminated in the circle of Wilhelm Vrelant (d. 1481; active in Bruges from 1454), the most successful illuminator in Bruges at that time. His patrons included the Dukes of Burgundy and members of their family and court as well as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian royalty, diplomats, aristocrats, bankers and wealthy merchants. Judging from their surviving manuscripts, he and his collaborators produced devotional books in far greater numbers than any other text; it is therefore not surprising that at the time the so-called “Vrelant style” became very popular and had a strong impact on the production of Books of Hours.

The full-page miniatures are in the style of an anonymous illuminator singled out among Vrelant’s collaborators by Nicholas Rogers and given the name of the Mildmay Master after a Book of Hours in the Newberry Library in Chicago (Case MS. 35) that in the 16th century belonged to Sir Thomas Mildmay (b. in or before 1515, d. 1566), Auditor of the Court of Augmentations for Henry VIII. The master collaborated with Vrelant in the decoration of a four-volume copy of the Golden Legend in French translation for Jean d’Auxy, knight of the Golden Fleece (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MSS 672-675.

A direct comparison with the Book of Hours in the British Library (Harley MS 3000) suggests that the artist working on the present manuscript is not the Mildmay Master, even though he is seemingly the same artist of a Book of Hours attributed to him in S. Hindman and A. Bergeron-Foote, An intimate Art. 12 Books of Hours for 2012, London, 2012. He is also the same artist of another devotional manuscript (Walters MS. W. 177). The anonymous artist of these three manuscripts managed to avoid the sharp linearity and rarefied stillness that characterise the works of the Mildmay Master and used a different and warmer palette of deeper blues and reds. The iconography of his decorative cycles follows the models employed by Vrelant and his followers, but his miniatures display distinctive delicate features for the Virgin (see here the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi on fols 24v, 64v and 78v), elongated male faces (in particular of Christ on the Cross and David in prayer on fols 1v and 124v), landscapes of rolling green hills and mountains turning to dark blue in the distance, and interiors characterised by gilt-embroidered tapestries and pink and grey walls with white-stucco decoration that includes a very distinctive element. This element recalls the monograms in the trade-mark stamps imposed on the Bruges illuminators by the town administration to stop the import of illuminated single leaves by foreign artists who were not registered with the Guild. This decorative element is particularly similar to the stamp of Adriaen de Raedt, an apprentice of Vrelant in the years 1473-1475, who was occasionally named as Vrelant in the Guild’s documents.

Almost all miniatures in the present book are a simplified version of the standardized Flemish iconography for the cycle of the Infancy of Christ disseminated by Vrelant and his followers, and found, for instance, in two Books of Hours attributed to Wilhelm Vrelant and/or associates(Walters MSS W. 196 and 197), and in the Arenberg Hours attributed to the Mildmay Master (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 8 (83.ML.104)). The fall of the idol from the column in the miniature of the Flight to Egypt (fol. 103v), in particular, is reminiscent of the Mildmay Master’s representations of the Apostle Bartolomew and Felix of Ostia destroying Idols or Mamertinus of Auxerre praying to Idols in the New York Golden Legend (PML, MS. M 675, fols 22r, 51r and 56v respectively).

The representation of the Crucifixion is the only exception. In the figures of the fore-ground and the landscape in the background our artist paraphrases the Crucifixion in Vrelant’s style as found in Walters MS. W. 197 (fol. 34v) and the Arenberg Hours (fol. 134r), but for the central scene of the Crucifixion with Christ flanked by the two thieves he seems to look elsewhere, possibly at the Crucifixion attributed to the so-called Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS. 1857, fol. 99v) and the Trivulzio Hours (The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. SMCi, fol. 94v), executed about 1470-1475, which echo the Crucifixion in Joos van Ghent’s Calvary triptych of the late 1460s. A similar dating for the present manuscript is consistent with the style of the all its other features.

The volume provides no clue towards the identification of its original owner.  Like many famous Bruges manuscripts such as the Spinola Hours (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 18) and the Grimani Breviary (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS. Lat. I, 99) copied by scribes imitating Italian bookhands, or indeed by Italian scribes working in a Bruges, and decorated by Flemish artists, the present book was beautifully produced on smooth white parchment of the highest quality and copied in an elegant round Italianate Gothic hand. The litany is of Augustinian Use, with Paul the First Hermit and Nicholas of Tolentino (canonized in 1446) among the doctors and confessors and Monica among the Virgins; other saints added to an otherwise standard text for the Use of Rome are Alexis at the end of monks and hermits, and Saints Margaret, Barbara and Elisabeth among the Virgins.

The masculine forms used in most prayers, including “Obsecro te” and “Intemerata”, with the only exception of the last, suggest that the book belonged to a man; the inclusion of the prayer “Deus propicius esto mihi peccatori et custos mei sis omnibus diebus vite mee,” traditionally attributed to St. Augustine, may indicate that he was a man of some importance, possibly a member of the large Italian community of merchants and bankers in Bruges, or a major local patron.

K34

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SALUSTE DU BARTAS, Guillaume de

His devine weekes and workes translated

London, Humfrey Lownes, 1613.

£1,950

4to., pp. (xxxii) 819 (xlvii) 87 (ix). Roman letter. Engraved title page by William Hole after C. Swytzer (Johnson 26:4), title within arch, Royal arms above supported by two pairs of pillars on which are resting terrestrial and celestial globes, medallion depicting the creation of woman, surmounted by pediment inscribed with the Hebrew name of God, angels at either side, further biblical panels at foot. Verses within arch made up of printers rules on next two pages, woodcut portrait of author on third. Eleven pages with printed central column containing the name of a Muse, printed title pages with astronomical diagrams, dedicatory verse to Philip Sidney in the form of a pyramid with his armorial hedgehog at head, each section of text commencing with woodcut headpiece and ‘Argument’ within typographical border, woodcut tailpieces, full page woodcut of the Garden of Eden on p. 214, white on black ‘memento mori’ on p. 669, full page woodcut of the Resurrection on p. 671; ‘History of Judith’ with separate title page with device, woodcut monogram of James I after dedication, large woodcut printer’s device on recto of last, contemporary ex-libris “George Parkins”on fly, “Mich: Constable; – 1620” at head of title, Light age yellowing, very occasional marginal soiling, and minor marginal water stains. A very good, clean copy in contemporary calf, covers bordered with triple blind rule, expertly re-backed, raised bands ruled in gilt and red morocco label, a.e.r.

A handsome copy of the fourth edition, corrected and augmented of Joshua Sylvester’s first English translation of Du Bartas’ (1544-1590) principal works, his great ‘La Sepmaine’ on the creation of the world, ‘La Seconde Sepmaine’ on the deeds of the early heroes, ‘Urania’- a poem in praise of poetry which James VI of Scotland personally translated, an epic of the history of Judith and a very extensive collection of diverse poems. In his day Du Bartas’ works were enormously popular; La Croix de Maine recorded thirty six eds. in six years apart from translations into English, Latin, Italian, German and Spanish. Nowhere was the Hugenot Du Bartas more appreciated than England where his religious tone and fanciful style earned the author the epithet ‘divine’ and he was placed an equal of Ariosto. Spenser, Hall and Johnson all speak of Du Bartas in the highest terms and Milton was clearly in his considerable debt. To a great extent this was due to Sylvester whose very free translation (almost a paraphrase) in rhymed decasyllabic couplets was so successful that Southey describes him as the most popular poet of the reign of James I.

To the modern reader a particular point of interest are the numerous references to the New World. The 22 page chapter ‘The Colonies’ mentions Drake, Newfoundland, Columbus, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Patagonia, Magellan, as well as the places’ notable physical features, distinctive animals and plants and most important produce. This is not just a list of names, but descriptive eg. “And Plate’s flat Plains, Where flowers another Nile”. The ‘Index of the hardest words’ (an admirable feature) explains Vespucci as America’s first discoverer, the habits of South American ‘cannibals’ and ‘Americans’ and ‘the French disease’, brought first from the Indies etc. There are also many references and descriptions relating to the East Indies and elsewhere.

STC 21652. Lowndes II 679. Grolier I 244 (3rd edn., which has the same collation but not identical composition). Alden 613/51.

L1951

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BOOK OF HOURS

Book of Hours, use of Rome, in Latin and French, printed on vellum. Hore beate Marie virginis secundum usum Romanum totaliter ad longum sine require Cum multis suffragiis & orationib’ de nouo additis

Paris, Germain Hardouin, 1528.

£24,500

PRINTED ON VELLUM. 8°. A-M8. 96 leaves, 30 lines. Roman letter. Large Hardouin device on title, 16 large metalcuts (2 full-page, 14 half-page), anatomical skeleton, and 22 smaller cuts, all illuminated in gold and colours by a contemporary hand, gold painted borders, ruled in red, to each large cut, metal cut multiple-piece ornamental, grotesque or historiated borders to all other pages, (unpainted), entirely rubricated with liquid-gold initials and line-filler on alternate red and blue grounds. (A1r, title with Hardouin device, A1v 4 quatrains beginning ‘ung iuif mutilant iadis’, A2r anatomical skeleton and 4 small cuts, A2v almanac for 1528-1545, A3r-B1r calendar, B1v-3v Gospel sequence (one large, 3 small cuts), B4r-C2r Passion according to St. John (large Crucifixion), C2v-F7r Hours of the Virgin (large cuts of Annunciation (x 2), Visitation, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Flight into Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin), F7v-G2r Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost (Crucifixion, Pentecost), G2v-5v Office of the Immaculate Conception (Virgin and Child in mandorla), G6r-H5v Seven Penitential Psalms (Bathsheba), H6r-K4r Office of the Dead (Job on his dungheap), K4v-L5v Suffrages, (Trinity and 12 small cuts), L5v-M1r seven prayers of St Gregory, prayers to the Virgin for Saturday, prayer to St. Roch (one small cut), M1r-4v prayers attributed to St. Augustine, prayers devoted to the Virgin, M4v-5v Hours of St. Barbara (one small cut), M5v-7r Salutatio beate Marie virginis, M7r-v table of contents, M8v colophon). Outer blank margin of title page trimmed, well away from text, the odd marginal thumb mark spot or stain, vellum slightly yellowed in places. A very good copy with crisp dark impressions of the cuts, the painting and gold fresh and clean, in contemporary Parisian calf over thin wooden boards, covers blind ruled to a dense panel design, outer two panels filled with blind scrolls, central ‘Gril de St Laurent’ design of vertical strips of repeated motifs in blind, spine covered at a later date with black painted vellum, binding rubbed corners worn, all edges gilt.

Extremely rare, finely printed and beautifully illuminated book of hours, on good quality vellum with the cuts finely illuminated in gold and colour to a rectangular format, although the metalcuts beneath are within ovals. This means the illuminator has not simply coloured the cuts beneath but has freely painted over them or extended the painting of the figures beyond the original borders.This copy seems to be very close to one sold in the Foyle library (lot 202) in 2000, although this copy remains in its contemporary binding. Books of hours were used by individuals at home rather than in church. A calendar was attached to the front so that memorial days of the saints could be identified. “And there is no doubt that the famous illustrations of the Missal, or ‘Book of Hours,’ issued in Paris between 1490 and 1520, were engraved on metal of some kind, perhaps on copper or some amalgam of tin and copper. (…) It will be noticed that the groundwork of many borders in the French books is filled with little white dots, criblé it was called; these dots are, in the first place, to imitate similar work in the gold grounds of the borders of illustrated missals, and, in the second place, to save the labour of cutting away so much of the metal as would be required for a white ground. (…) An important point to notice in connection with the illustrations of French ‘Books of Hours’ at this time is that they are nearly all inspired by German artists and nearly all copied from illuminated MSS.” Joseph Cundall. ‘A Brief History of Wood engraving.’

The Hardouin’s workshop dominated the market of printed books of hours, in Paris between 1510 and 1550. Gillet Hardouin worked primarily as a printer, between 1500 and 1542, and German Hardouin was registered in the Guild of Illuminators. They were the only editors capable of both printing and illumination without commissioning other professionals. The metal cut borders do not follow the text of the work and combine scenes from the life of Christ, the Saints and the Old Testament with alternating with allegorical decorations of many various kinds. The quality of their work is remarkable. It seems that they produced books of hours in various formats, from ordinary copies printed on paper to those printed on vellum with woodcuts and the most luxurious where the entire book was illuminated over the original woodcuts as here.

A very rare and beautiful work.

See Fairfax Murray 274 for a similar work. Not in Brunet, van Praet or Lacombe.

L1985

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BOOK OF HOURS

THE HOURS OF THE NOBLE FRASIA DA SIENA

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum

probably Ferrara, Italy, 1460-1480.

£28,500

81 x 61 mm, 382 leaves on parchment: I-IX10, X10 (with quires XI and XII inserted between leaves sixth and seventh), XI10, XII4, XIII-XXXI10, XXXII8, XXXIII-XXXVIII10, XXXIX4, XL6 (3 blanks), catchwords in lower margin of last verso of quires and trace of manuscript leaf-signatures on quires I-X and XIII-XXXVIII, repeating signature D on quire XXXIII; parchment flyleaf with conjoint pastedown at the beginning and end. Regular Italian Gothic script [Southern Textualis Rotunda] in red and black by two hands, the second copying the additional text in the Hours of the Virgin and the Italian prayers at the end. Rubrics in red and initials (1-2 line high) in alternating red and blue throughout. 14 initials (2-4 lines high), in blue or green set against a gold-leaf ground with foliate decoration and/or extensions in purple and green with gold bezants, marking the Hours within the Hours of the Virgin and of the Cross, and the beginning of Litany. 4 illuminated historiated initials, in blue, in foliate design with white tracery, set against gold-leaf grounds with foliate extensions in green and purple, and 4 full borders decorated with scrolling green leaves and flowers in blue, purple, green and yellow interspersed with gold bezants, on fols 21r, 165r, 269r and 313r: 1 six-line initial “D”[omine] (fol. 21r) historiated with the Virgin and Child, the original arms within the wreath at centre of the bas-de-page erased [gules, a central charge per pale with traces of one small object at either side and repainted as arms of same tincture with a column argent]; 1 six-line initial “V”[enite] (fol. 165r) historiated with the image of a skull set against a green field and blue sky; 1 six-line initial “D”[omine] (fol. 269r) historiated with David in prayer; 1 six-line initial “D”[omine] (fol. 313r) historiated with Christ as the Man of Sorrows.  Good quality parchment, well preserved, with large, clean margins. Thin wood boards sewn on three double-split spine bands of alum-tawed skin, two endbands with decorative sewing in alternating gold and red threads, and bookblock edges gilt and gauffered, all datable to the early sixteenth century. Red-velvet cover with fastening copper-alloy catch, inscribed “AVE”, red-velvet strap and fastening pin, with quatrefoil-shape base, at centre of lower cover (19th-century).

The volume includes the text necessary for the daily private devotion of religious and lay individuals according to the use of Rome.

Manuscript Books of Hours produced in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance were often beautifully produced and illuminated to reflect the wealth and sophistication of their patrons. The present book is no exception. It was written in a pleasing elegant and regular Italian Rotunda hand on white and supple parchment of the highest quality and decorated with charming initials and borders in bright colours and gold. The simple and yet elegant appearance and the small proportions suggest it was made for a cultivated female patron.

The four patron saints of Siena, Ansano, Savino, Crescenzio e Vittore, listed in the calendar at the beginning of the book (fols 1r-18v) and even more prominently among the martyrs in the Litany (fol. 297r-v), point to the Tuscan town as the place of origin. The palette of deep hues of blue, purple, green and yellow, the dark outlining of the figures, and the shapes of foliage and flowers in the borders identify the unknown artist as a close follower of the Sienese illuminator Bernardino Cignoni (d. 1496). Cignoni decorated manuscripts and documents for the Siena Cathedral and Chancery, and a number of local religious confraternities and aristocratic families, such as the Piccolomini and the Bichi (see M. Cignoni, “Bernardino Cignoni di Siena miniatore di libri (m. 1496)”, in Honos alit artes: Studi per il settantesimo compleanno di Mario Aschieri, Firenze, 2014, vol. 2, pp. 269-73). The depiction of the skull in the historiated initial at the beginning of the Office of the Dead (fol. 165r) is particularly close to Cignoni’s opening of the same Office in the Hours for Filitiana Bichi (now New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M 311, fol. 85 r). The patron of the present Hours also belonged to a prominent Sienese family, but her arms have been erased from the bas-de-page of fol. 21 recto. The original tincture was seemingly gules, with a charge in pale, now overpainted argent, and an unidentified object at either side of it.

Early in the early sixteenth century, the text for Terce and Sext in the Hours of the Virgin was replaced and a final quire containing three additional prayers in Italian added, the bookblock edges were slightly trimmed, gilt and gauffered, and the book possibly newly bound in a delicate velvet [?] binding. These changes probably occurred when the manuscript was passed on to a new owner, possibly a daughter or a niece, her name “Frasia” (for Eufrasia) recurring at the beginning of two of the Italian prayers (fols 377r with marginal maniculae and 379r), in which she is portrayed as a “misera peccatrice”. The book also shows a sample of her own writing in the words “o pecatrice frasia” added at the end of the last prayer by an unprofessional, yet educated early sixteenth-century hand (fol. 382v).

Frasia was a common name at the time among Sienese women and the literature relating to the cultural life in Siena in the first half of the century records the names of at least three Sienese noblewomen, Frasia Agazzari, Frasia Placidi de’ Ventury and Frasia Marzi, who wrote poetry and participated in the reunions – the so-called veglie – of the new Academia degli Intronati (founded in 1525; see Giovanni Paolo Ubaldini, Paradossa Quinta of his Dieci paradosse degli Academici Intronati da Siena, Milan, Gio. Antonio degli Antonii, 1564)

Despite a seemingly matching tincture (gules), none of the family arms of these gentlewomen can be identified with the original owner; a possible match is to be found in the arms of the di Niccoluccio family (gules, a ladder of four rounds per pale or between two estoiles of the same), with the gold ladder now substituted with a white column.

L2003

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BIBLIA

MINIATURE EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Testamenti Novi editio vulgata.

Lyon, Apud héritiers Sébastien Gryphe, 1564.

£2,250

16mo. pp. 496, 343 (xvii). a-z8, A-H8, aa-xx8, yy4, zz8 (gatherings x and y transposed). Roman and Italic letter. Gryphius’ griffin device on title page, 96 metal-cuts, some repeated, historiated woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, early autograph, illegible at foot of title page, C20th armorial bookplate on pastedown, C18th library stamps on verso of title page. Light age yellowing, title page fractionally dusty, the marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in contemporary vellum over thin boards, yapp edges remains of pigskin ties, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine blind ruled in compartments.

A very good copy of this charming, finely illustrated and well printed, near miniature New Testament, with 96 cuts by Jacob Faber or Jacques Lefévre, the last in a series printed by Sebastien Gryphius since 1542. “This is the second of two New Testament sets based on the woodcuts owned by Francois Gryphius at Paris, both sets attributed to Jacques le Févre. Three of these subjects – Matthew, Luke, and James – are signed “IF”, James probably by identification with Le Févres own forename. The series was cut for Sébastien Gryphius, brother of Francois, and is recorded by Baudrier (vol. 8 p. 171-172, 4 cuts reproduced) from 1542. This set is farther from the Paris originals in both style and composition than the first “IF’ series. The background scenes which are such a distinctive feature of the earlier blocks have generally been removed and enlarged into new subjects in the regular sequence. This Lyons set is of importance chiefly because of its influence on Bernard Salomon’s New Testament cuts. From 1542 until his death and in 1556, Sébastian Gryphius continually reprinted and reissued 16mo editions of the Old Testament in five parts, providing as companion volumes both this New Testament and editions of the Erasmus version of the New Testament” Mortimer French I 90 on the edition of 1560.

On Sebastian Gryphius’ death he left the entirety of his business to his wife Francoise Miraillet but installed his son Antoine (who was the result of an adulterous relationship between Sebastian Gryphius and his wife’s sister Marion Miraillet) as head of the atelier, and he eventually, in 1561, took over the running of the business himself until Francoise’ death in 1565 when the whole business was taken over by Antoine and liquidated. This is thus one of the last works printed by the internationally celebrated atelier of Sebastian Gryphius’ at Lyon.

A very good copy in a good contemporary binding.

USTC 153605. Gultlingen V 1479. Baudrier VIII p. 309. Brunet V 745. Brun  p. 270 , 1542 edn. Mortimer Fr. I, 90 on the edition of 1560. Not in Darlow and Moule.

L2109

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RAMELLI, Agostino

THE MOST IMPORTANT ‘BOOK OF MACHINES’ OF THE 16th CENTURY

Le diuerse et artificiose machine…

Paris, in casa dell’autore, 1588

£27,500

FIRST EDITION. Folio. ff. [xvi], 338. *1, **7, a-s8, t6, u-z8, A-D8, E-K4-2, L6, M-Q4-2, R-X8, Y4, Z2, Aa2, Bb8, Cc-Ff4-2, Gg-Kk6-2. French text in Roman, Italian in italic. Engraved title within architectural border, full page engraved portrait of the author on verso within architectural frame, both by Léonard Gaultier, 194 engravings, of which are 174 full-page and 20 double-page, numbered to 195, numbers 148–9 combined as one illustration, three signed with the monogram “JG”, text and engravings printed within borders of floral typographic ornaments, historiated and floriated woodcut initials in various sizes, woodcut tailpieces and corner ornaments. Discreet library stamp of “Schmidt József pesti molnár” on title, repeated on a few blank margins of plates. Age yellowing with marginal browning, minor spotting in places, autograph pasted over in lower blank margin of title with small repairs to outer margin on recto and verso, tear restored in blank margin of ff16, the occasional marginal thumb mark or ink spot, small oil stain in blank lower corner on last few leaves. A good copy, with excellent dark impressions of the engravings, in contemporary vellum over thick boards, old reback with original spine remounted, a little soiled, corners bumped.

First edition of the most important and most impressive ‘book of machines’ of the C16th, an outstanding example of French book production; illustrated with 195 full-page engravings, it is one of the earliest and most elaborate pictorial technical works to be printed. “This volume is dedicated to the King and special care was taken to make it appropriate as an expression of gratitude for Royal favor and protection. There is also a second factor governing the circumstances of publication. In his address to the reader, Ramelli complains of piracy of his designs which resulted in their publication in corrupt and mutilated forms destroying the original accuracy of his inventions. As a result of this experience, Ramelli planned this work as a particularly handsome volume, difficult to counterfeit, strictly supervised by the author himself and published with the imprint, ‘in casa del’ autore'” – Mortimer. The Ramelli machines are concerned especially with hydraulics or mechanisms of warfare. The superb illustrations show the machines in use with their parts indicated by letters explained in the accompanying text. They are extremely finely worked and detailed, with great care taken to present the machine in landscape settings with figures employed in demonstrating them. Ramelli’s designs cover water-raising devices, wells, mills, mobile bridges, machines for breaking through doors and metal bars, cranes, excavating equipment, fountains, and projectile devices. He described and illustrated for the first time the rotary pump, mechanical details of windmills, and a coffer-dam of interlocking piles, and like other writers of the period he designed biological automata in the form of hydraulically operated singing birds. including one notable departure into the world of domestic gadgetry, a revolving bookcase designed to enable a reader to peruse multiple volumes without having to leave his seat. Ramelli was greatly influenced by the increasing importance placed on mathematics and geometry as an important tool for engineers and artists, and particularly by the writings of Guidobaldo del Monte (1545-1607) and Petrus Ramus (1515-1572). Ramelli’s interest in mathematics is demonstrated in the preface, ‘On the excellence of mathematics in which is shown how necessary mathematics are for learning all the liberal arts.’ “Ramelli also wanted to make his book accessible to many engineers so, as an Italian living in France, he produced both Italian and French descriptions of the machines. Ramelli’s bilingual descriptions are much more detailed than those found in previous illustrated books of machines by Jacques Besson and Jean Errard de Bar-le-Duc. Ramelli’s book had a great influence on future mechanical engineering; Georg Andreas Böckler’s, Theatrum machinarum novum, 1662, copied eighteen of Ramelli’s plates. “Ramelli’s influence can also be seen in the well-known works of Grollier de Servière (Recueil d’ouvrages curieux de mathematique et de mecanique, 1719) and Jacob Leupold (the multi-volume set Theatrum machinarum, 1724-1739). Leupold’s work helped pass along Ramelli’s ideas to a large population of eighteenth-century engineers. Only the one edition of the book was issued during Ramelli’s lifetime. In 1620, a German translation appeared in Leipzig as Schatzkammer, mechanischer Künste…, published by Henning Grossen den Jüngern with the illustrations re-engraved by Andreas Bretschneider.” Ronald Brashear, Smithsonian libraries.

BM STC C16th Fr. Dibner, Heralds of Science, 173. Adams R-52. Brunet IV:1095. Mortimer Harvard Fr. 452. Norman 1777. Riccardi I:341. “Opere rarissima ed assai apprezzata”

L1572

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REUSNER, Nicolas and ZWINGER, Theodore

MOST UNUSUAL BINDING

Icones sive Imagines [with] Icones…clarorum virorum

Basle, Conrad Waldkich, 1589

£4,950

8vo, 2 works in 1, 144 + 32 unnumbered ll. *8, A-R8, Aa-Dd8. Separate t-p to each. Roman letter, text within ornamental topographical border, 90 full page woodcut portraits of celebrated, mainly intellectual figures of the C16, throughout. Autograph of T. P. Tomek (c. 1800) at foot of t-p and fly, earlier press mark and binder’s price or ref on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing, rather indifferent paper, a good copy in beautiful contemporary vellum over bds., covers semé gilt, interlacing patterns à la cire in red, green and black, outlines gilt, symbolic gilt ornament in centre of each cover, yapp fore-edges, central ornament design repeated on edges gauffered gilt.

Second and new edition of Reusner and FIRST EDITION of Zwinger’s portrait gallery of many of the great figures of Renaissance and Reformation Europe, together with their tombstone inscriptions, other epitaphs and commendatory verses; many of the first series of portraits come from the Museo Ioviano. Among those depicted and described are Gaza, Lascaris, Mirandula, Ficino, Bembo, Fracastoro, Iovio, Alciatus, Titian and Michelangelo, whilst Zwinger looks further afield to Dolet, Ramus, Bauhin and even Fisher, More and Pole.

The portraits were designed by Thomas Stimmer and are cut on wood, maybe by the printer, though none are signed. Stimmer was one of the most talented and industrious German painters and engravers of the second half of the C16 and Rubens is said to have learned much from him. He provides a highly individualised series of likenesses, generally both expressive and convincing. The series of figures is not the same in this edition as in the first. Reusner was initially and essentially a lawyer, but he was one of the period’s polymaths and the formidable range of his works includes history, travel, emblem books and other illustrated volumes.

In a beautiful mosaiqué binding, most unusual both on vellum and as late in the century, in excellent shape.

BM STC. Ger p 734. Adams R 409 [without the Zwinger]. Brunet IV 1255 “le corps de volume renferme 82 portraits pour les éloges de P. Jove. Il y a de plus un supplement…lequel ne contient que 8 portr.” Graesse VI 96. Passavant III 453.

L1907

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SADELER, Johann

Landscapes

Venice, 1599

£3,400

8 intaglio landscape engravings on thick laid paper, brief verses of Alciati in italics beneath. Slightly dusty in borders, a couple of small wormholes affecting blank margin only. A very good, uncropped copy in quarter calf over green cloth boards.

ROCKY LANDSCAPE WITH ANTIQUE BUILDINGS
The remains of an ancient temple, incongruously containing a sphinx, appear before a river, city, and mountainous landscape, in the foreground youths wrestle next to a Classical facade, a fine dolphin fountain gurgles behind.
Bartsch 7001.524

RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH THREE NAKED MEN AND A DOG
Pausing briefly from their labours, some huntsmen laze in the dappled shadows beside a river.
525

RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH MYTHOLOGICAL SCENE
A man prays on his knees against a striking vista of rolling hills, convoys and a city.
526

LANDSCAPE WITH COUPLE THREATENED BY DEATH AND CUPID
AIn the centre of a pastoral idyll, a balding and bearded man presses his suit upon a young lady in a bonnet. Above, Cupid flies, arrow primed for the kill, in the shadow of nearby trees a skeletal Death is similarly primed…
527

LANDSCAPE WITH DEATH AND CUPID
A sky-filled scene sees Death stowing away his arrows, Cupid’s youthful form struck down and controted on the ground behind him, quiver cast asunder.
521

LANDSCAPE WITH HUNTER AIMING BOW AT BIRD
While workers toil in the fields and a caravan pushes its way slowly through a river, a young man seizes a small bow, and takes aim at the dim silhouette of a bird flying overhead.
519

ROCKY LANDSCAPE WITH A TOWN IN THE BACKGROUND
A herd of swine galumph, distracting a passing mule in a nosebag, who is driven on his way by a man brandishing a whip. A tranquil city soars behind.
528

PEASANTS ADMIRING ISIS ON A DONKEY
A fine city, before which the altar of Isis is transported on the back of a donkey, which lows as it is beaten. Peasants doff their hats and genuflect.

Bartsch 7001.519-527

L920a

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SADELER, Johann


Boni et Mali Scientia: The Science of Good and Evil

Antwerp, 1583

£4,500

12 intaglio engravings on thick laid paper, based on images from Genesis, after drawings by Maarten de Vos. Slightly dusty in borders, a couple of small wormholes affecting blank margin only. Engravings measure 185x260mm, sheets 245×335. Explanation below each scene in a clear italic. A very good copy in modern quarter calf over cloth boards.

1. TITLE PAGE: BONI ET MALI SCIENTIA
Central title, the surround featuring Adam and Eve dozing on either side and the serpent and apple beneath, implements of agriculture – for threshing, sowing etc; musical instruments and weapons of war. Bartsch 7001.017 S2. Wurzbach 8.1. Le Blanc 39.

2. CREATION OF MAN AND WOMAN
Highly detailed scene, featuring lions, a fox and a porcupine in the foreground round the feet of Adam and Eve and God, whose outline is hazy and who walks on a cloud. In the middle-ground appear numerous trees and God sending the couple to sleep on the banks of a river. In the background, mountains rise into the distance, and a bucking horse and camel appear on the shores of a great sea.
This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘Paradise’, a painting in the Museo de Navarro, Pampalona. Bartsch 7001.018 S2

1. THE FALL OF MAN
Set in the garden of Eden, in the background we see Eve picking fruit from the tree of life and handing it to Adam, while in the tree above them coils the Serpent, half snake and half man, his arm outstretched towards Eve, against a backdrop of trees. In the foreground we see God expelling the couple, now clothed in branches, from Paradise. Around His feet lie a bird, a lioness, a deer and a magnificent spiky hedgehog.
This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘El Peccado’. Bartsch 7001.019 S2

1. ADAM AND EVE AFTER THE FALL
Expelled from Paradise, in the background we see Adam and Eve pursued by a sword-wielding angel, in front of which appear an elephant, a camel, an ostrich, a unicorn. A leafy bank rises on the left on which graze goats and rabbits, while in the foreground we see a well-muscled Adam working in his fields while eve looks on, babe in arms and toddler and chickens at her feet.
This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘Adam trabajando el campo’. Bartsch 7001.020 S2

1. CAIN AND ABEL AT WORK IN THE FIELDS
Against a backdrop of rolling hills, once more punctuated by a camel, we see Abel tending a herd of cattle and sheep, a pair of rams locking horns at his feet, while Cain drives a belligerent ox. To the right a cottage shows a family scene.
This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘Cain Agricultor y Abel Pastor’. Bartsch 7001.021 S2

1. THE OFFERING OF CAIN AND ABEL
Against the now common pastoral-familial background, the scene shows Cain and Abel making sacrifices of fruit & vegetables and a lamb, while God stands in the smoke. In the middle distance we see the murder of Abel.
This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘Sacrificios de Cain y Abel’. Bartsch 7001.022 S2

1. THE CURSE OF CAIN
Before a thatched cottage in which his wife stirs a pot and cradles her child, Cain is building, numerous sheep and donkeys at his feet. A vengeful God appears on the left, a mountain path rises in the rear. This engraving served as the model for Jacob Bouttat’s ‘Cain con su mujer y su hijo Enoch’. Bartsch 7001.023 S2

1. ENOCH BUILDING A TOWN
A scene of intense industry showing men breaking rocks, mixing mortar, collecting water and building walls in the foreground, a town with thatched houses and a castle behind, interspersed with beasts of burden and labourers. Bartsch 7001.024 S2

1. THE DESCENDANTS OF LAMECH
Depicting the house of Lamech with his two wives, Ada (light) with her shepherd and musician children, and Sella (darkness) with her daughter Pleasure and blacksmith son, here shown wielding rocks. In the background rural scene Lamech is shown with his corpse at his feet, the town behind. Bartsch 7001.025 S2

1. JABAL, SON OF LAMECH, ANCESTOR OF THE NOMADS
Busy scene, featuring nomads herding geese, cattle, sheep and camels, with further animals grazing freely, in the foreground a tent in which Jabal and his family eat, while a dog in a collar looks on. Bartsch 7001.026 S2

1. JUBAL, FATHER OF MUSICIANS
An workshop in the foreground, shows wood being sawed and planed while one man strings a violin-like instrument, and another drills holes in a pipe, finished instruments are tested behind them, to a backdrop of a town square filled with dancers and more musicians. Bartsch 7001.027 S2

1. TUBAL-CAIN, FATHER OF BLACKSMITHS
A woman spins thread in the foreground, behind her Tubal-Cain toils in his forge. In the background men work in a mill and hew ricks, which are then floated down stream on wooden rafts. Bartsch 7001.028 S2

Johan (aka Jan) Sadeler (1550-1600), was a Flemish-born draughtsman, engraver and publisher. Initially a steel-chiseler he later moved to Antwerp where he gained admission to the Guild of St. Luke in 1572 as a copper plate engraver. In Antwerp Sadeler came into contact with Maarten de Vos (1532–1603), a leading Antwerp mannerist painter and draughtsman, with whom both he and his brothers collaborated for many years.

L916

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