BOOK OF HOURS, illuminated manuscript
Use of Saint-André de Bordeaux, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum[Bordeaux, c. 1500]
185 by 130mm, 124 leaves (plus 2 modern paper endleaves at back), wanting a single leaf after fol. 55 (probably with miniature) and another leaf after fol. 30, collation: i-ii6, iii-iv8, v7 (wants iii), vi-vi8, viii9 (wants v), ix4, x-xvi8, xvii4 (including last endleaf), single column of 20 lines in a fine lettre bâtarde, pale rubrics, small initials in liquid gold on coloured grounds, line-fillers in same, five small rectangular miniatures (fols. 7r, 8r, 9r, 10v and 109r) with full decorated borders of gold acanthus leaves on blue and burgundy grounds and realistic sprays of foliage on dull gold grounds, ten large miniatures set within coloured and gold detailed architectural frames (these enclosing full-length figures of angels, attendant figures a classical dull-gold statue and David and Goliath on pedestals), set above large coloured initials on grounds heightened with liquid gold and 5 lines of text, the foregrounds of the miniatures continuing in the bas-de-page, some thumbing and small flaking from bases, seventh gathering loose, small spots and stains; nineteenth-century red morocco, gilt-tooled with double fillet and floral sprays at corners.
1. Written and illuminated in Bordeaux around the opening of the sixteenth century, with the use of the Office of the Virgin that of the exceptionally rare Saint-André de Bordeaux, with the Office of the Dead in general agreement with use of Bordeaux. The Calendar includes a number of southern French saints, such as Quiteria (22 May), and Genesius (25 August, in red), Bertrand of Comminges (16 October) and Fronto (25 October), as well as specifically Bordeaux saints (such as Beraldus and Amand).
2. Richard de Loménie (collection dispersed before 1938): his late nineteenth to early twentieth-century armorial bookplate engraved by Bouvier, with motto: “Je maintiendray”; a family member of Étienne-Charles de Loménie (1727-94), finance minister of King Louis XVI, bishop of Condom, archbishop of Toulouse and finally archbishop of Sens. Another Book of Hours once owned by him now in The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 77 L 59, Pierpont Morgan Museum, M.1073, and others sold in Christie’s, 7 July 2010, lot 36; and 15 July 2015, lot 28, as well as widely in the French trade in the last decade.
This volume comprises: a Calendar (fol. 1r); the Gospel extracts (fol. 7r); the Hours of the Virgin (fol. 13r); the Seven Penitential Psalms (fol. 63r) followed by a Litany; the Office of the Dead (fol. 80v); the Obsecro te (fol. 109r) followed by prayers.
The source of the richly illuminated scenes here is most probably a printed copy of the text with miniatures designed by the Master of Anne de Bretagne, a Parisian artist named after an opulent Book of Hours illuminated for the queen of both kings Charles VIII and Louis XII of France. His workshop illuminated manuscripts and produced designs for printed copies (R. Wieck, Painted Prayers, 1997, p. 57, no. 38), and one of those presumably stands behind this work by a Bordeaux illuminator.
The subjects of the large miniatures are: (1) fol. 13r, the Annunciation; (2) fol. 24v, the Visitation; (3) fol. 32r, the Pentecost; (4) fol. 38v, Nativity; (5) fol. 43r, the Annunciation to the Shepherds; (6) fol. 46r, Adoration of the Magi; (7) fol. 49r, Presentation in the temple; (8) fol. 52r, Flight into Egypt; (9) fol. 63r, David in prayer; (10) fol. 80v, Job on the dungheap.