13. Book of Hours, Hours of the Virgin, &c., illuminated manuscript on vellum, in Latin and French, 124 ff., only, lacking 5 ff. from the Calendar, several ff. throughout the manuscript, incomplete at end, 15 lines, written in black ink in a handsome gothic liturgical hand, each page with bar border in burnished gold, blue and red on outer margin,with three-quarter border of elaborate hairline stems, with gilt bezants and leaves, and coloured flowers and fruit, many 2-line initials in colours on a gold background, with similar border in inner margins of rectos, 1-line initials in gold on blue, red and white background, similar line-fillers, occasional smudging and light marking, with adiitional (?
sixteenth-century) leaf tipped-in at beginning with, on recto, large miniature (c. 115 x 110 mm.) containing an emblematic view of the world, depicting a combined palm and olive tree on a grassy island in the sea, in the centre of seven concentric circles in colours, burnished gold and (oxidised) silver, each circle with the alchemical symbols of the seven planetary metals at the top and to right and left, in the corners four winds on a blue background, gilt text obliterated from panels at top and bottom, on verso, a 15-line poem in French
in gilt border, both pp. with borders at head and foot of hairline stems, with gilt and coloured leaves and flowers, three stanza initials in gold on blue backgrounds, handsomely bound in sixteenth century calf, gilt, covers with double rule, and arabesque centre and corner-pieces, spine in compartments with rules and small ornaments, little rubbed, repairs to head of spine and edges of covers, brown cloth case, rubbed, c. 200 x 135 mm., [Northern France ?, late fifteenth century].
est. £8000 – £12000
The greater part of a handsome medieval manuscript, sadly with all miniatures and some other ff. removed. The fully completed calendar, which lacks February to June, includes several saints venerated in France, among them, in gold, Ss Genevieve, Martin and Denis. The image on the added leaf is not uncommon, though rarely found in Books of Hours; the poem on the verso, on the power of prayer, begins "Des bien heureux les devotes prieres…". The border decoration, though similar, is distinctly less fine than that found in the rest of the manuscript.