Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017
Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment...
Sold for £6500
Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment [Southern Netherlands (probably Bruges for the English market), mid-fifteenth century]
142 leaves (plus 2 paper endleaves at each end), wanting 8 leaves (all but one either cancelled blanks or full-page miniatures), else textually complete (unless there was once a codicologically-complete Suffrages to Saints at the end of the volume), collation: i-ii6, iii9 (i wanting), single column of 15 lines in a late gothic bookhand, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, small initials in liquid gold on blue and pink heightened with white penwork, some significant readings marked with large illuminated initials on coloured grounds set in margins, 12 pages with large illuminated initials in blue or pink enclosing sprays of coloured foliage on coloured and burnished gold grounds, with three-quarter thick text borders of vinework, geometric shapes or lines of flowers or pots on burnished gold grounds, all enclosed within full decorated borders of acanthus leaf sprays and other foliage, four Passion readings opening with small square miniatures of the Evangelists and their attributes by the Masters of the Gold Scrolls, two full-page arch-topped miniatures by the same group of artists, and set within full floral borders (Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elizabeth and Annunciation to the Shepherds), originally blank space at end of hours often filled with near contemporary exhortational material, crude drawing of a man (perhaps by a modern child) made in bas-de-page of one leaf, 3 leaves with parts of blank upright borders trimmed away, miniatures and borders thumbed in places, somewhat discoloured and spotted throughout, but overall fair and presentable condition, 130 by 97mm.; eighteenth- or nineteenth-century binding of parchment over pasteboards, some cracking at spine and front board slightly bowed
1. Written and illuminated in the Southern Netherlands, most probably Bruges, in the mid-fifteenth century, for the English market, and perhaps for a patron in the Midlands: with SS. Milburgh (23 February, sister of St. Mildred, and eighth-century abbess of Wenlock), Edward (18 March, with Translations in red in June and October), Alphege (19 April), Fremund and Duncan (19 May, the first of whom’s cult focussed on Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Bedfordshire), Alban (22 June, in red with the title “martyris anglie”), Mildred and Kenelm (13 and 17 July; the latter miscopied by the scribe as “keuelini regis” here), Oswald and Cuthbert (5 and 31 August, the former also in Litany, the latter as “Cuthburgh”), Eadmund “cantuariensis” and Edmund “regis” (16 and 20 November, both red). To these a near-contemporary hand has added St. Swithun (2 July), with another addition to the Calendar dated 1470. In the late fifteenth century, English owners such as “John Wyllyam” and “John Laye” added their names as well as 2-lines of Middle English (“When dethe darke dothe diuth man”, repeated) to leaves at the end of the book.
2. Jacob Weinberg (1879-1956), Russian born musician and composer: his armorial bookplate showing Mount Carmel with vineyards (note Weinberg=Carmel in translation) at front.
3. Gifted to the present owner by A.F. Fraser, 19th Lord Saltoun (1886-1979).
The volume comprises: a Calendar (fol. 1r); the Mass of the Virgin (fol. 13r), followed by the Gospel Readings (fol. 17v); the Hours of the Virgin with Martins (fol. 25r), Lauds (fol. 35r) followed by ‘memoria’ prayers, including one to St. Thomas Becket, Prime (fol. 51r), Terce (fol. 57r), Sext (fol. 60r), None (fol. 63r), Vespers (fol. 66r) and Compline (fol. 69r); Seven Penitential Psalms (fol. 75r) followed by a Litany and prayers; and the Office of the Dead (fol. 97r), followed by the “Commendationes animorum” (fol. 127r).
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