Lot Number 11
Title BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Year Published 1485
Place Printed [Rouen,
Printed By
Description BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rouen, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Rouen, c.1485] 149 x 100mm, ii(i former pastedown) + 124 leaves + iii(iii former pastedown): 112, 28, 36, 4-88, 92, 10-168, COMPLETE, 18 lines written in a batarde hand in black ink between two verticals and 19 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 80 x 49mm, text capitals touched yellow, rubrics in red, one-line initials and line-endings in liquid gold on grounds of alternately red or blue, two- to four-line initials with white acanthus staves on liquid gold grounds with infills of fruit, flowers or foliage, EVERY PAGE WITH A PANEL BORDER IN THE OUTER MARGIN, most rectos also with a border in the inner margin of acanthus and sprays of flowers and fruit on divided grounds with liquid gold, 24 SMALL CALENDAR MINIATURES of the signs of the zodiac and the occupations of the month, THIRTEEN LARGE MINIATURES, seven in architectural frames above borders of acanthus, fruit- and flower-sprays enriched by animals, birds and grotesques on liquid gold grounds, six within full borders of similar type each containing two small miniatures, TWO FULL-PAGE MINIATURES IN ARCHITECTURAL FRAMES with the opening word of the office written in red along the lower edge (occasional offsetting or showthrough, mostly onto blank margins, a few small losses of pigment from miniatures on ff.18v, 49, 56v, 59, slight smudge to sky on f.69 and smudging to lower border on f.85). 18th-century brown calf with the armorial stamp gilt of Nicolas-Joseph Foucault, marquis de Magny (1643-1721). AMONG THE HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF ROUEN ILLUMINATION: AN EXCEPTIONALLY REFINED BOOK OF HOURS BY THE MASTER OF THE GENEVA LATINI, ROBERT BOYVIN AND JEAN SERPIN. PROVENANCE: The book was presumably made in Rouen for the lady shown kneeling before the Virgin on f.116; Nicolas-Joseph Foucault, marquis de Magny (1643-1721): the smallest of the three tools with his arms on upper and lower covers (E. Olivier, Manuel de l'amateur de reliures armoriees francaises, 1929, pl.1852). Ennobled for his services in government, Foucault was a keen antiquarian who assembled an outstanding library of printed books and manuscripts, including the Sherborne Missal, BL Add. MS 74236. His library began to be dispersed during his lifetime; Jacques Charles Bonvoisin: 'ex libris Jacobi Caroli Bonvoisin' on the first parchment endleaf might refer to Jean Charles Bonvoisin, fl.1729, canon of Martinie Brian in Anjou; Jean-Francois Bodin (1766-1829): 'Bodin, Saumur 1800' and a note dating the book to the reign of Charles V 1364-1380 on the second parchment endleaf are presumably by the hand of the diligent researcher whose Recherches historiques sur la ville de Saumur, Saumur, 1812 and 1814, is still regarded as a fundamental work. CONTENT: Calendar ff.1-12; Gospel extracts ff.13-8; Obsecro te and O Intemerata ff.18v-26v; Hours of the Virgin, use of Rouen, ff.27-68: matins f.27, lauds f.36, prime f.49, terce f.53v, sext f.56v, none f.59, vespers f.62, compline f.64v; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.69-84v; Hours of the Cross ff.85-7v; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.88-90v; Office of the Dead, use of Rouen ff.91-115v; the Fifteen Joys of the Virgin in French ff.116-21; the Seven Requests in French ff.121v-4. ILLUMINATION: The refined illumination shows three Rouen illuminators working to an exceptionally high standard: the Master of the Geneva Latini (or Master of the Echevinage de Rouen), who dominated Rouen book production in the second half of the 15th century, Robert Boyvin, favoured artist of Cardinal Georges d'Amboise, Archbishop of Rouen, whose career is documented between 1487 and 1503, and Jean Serpin, a border specialist who regularly collaborated with Boyvin. While the older artist, the Master of the Geneva Latini, was responsible for the Calendar miniatures, portrayed the owner of this lavish commission on f.116 and painted the full-page miniature, the Meeting of the Three Living and the Three Dead, f.91, the other full-page miniature, the important Annunciation scene, f.27, is the work of Boyvin: they shared responsibility for the remainder of the miniatures. The entrancing variety and delicacy of the numerous borders is matched in the miniatures. These are sometimes augmented with border scenes, often of Old Testament events that prefigure the main subject. Followers of the Master had adopted a similar idea in a later book now in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, W.224, and such Old Testament 'types' are the subjects of the miniatures in another of Boyvin's finest works, the Book of Hours from the Hauck Collection, Christie's New York, 27-28 June 2006, lot 125. There are many points of comparison between the present lot and the Hauck Hours: the figure of David, f.69, for instance, is virtually identical to the Hauck Augustus, f.32; similarly the small border miniature of the Sacrifice of Isaac, f.59, is very like the full-page version of the Hauck Hours, f.49. Significantly, the rare scene of the miracle on Mount Carmel, with Elijah in a Carmelite habit, occurs in both manuscripts. The Master of the Geneva Latini and Boyvin apparently drew on a shared stock of patterns to which Boyvin had contributed but it was the Master of the Geneva Latini who set the standard for the exceptionally delicate painting produced by both miniaturists and by the border specialist, Jean Serpin. Perhaps a spirit of rivalry stimulated them into producing this masterpiece of technical skill and rich content for the quality of the illumination is unsurpassed in any other work attributed to them, including the Saint-Lo Hours (Sotheby's New York, 21 April 1998, lot 37, sold for 3.3 million USD). The subjects of the full-page miniatures are as follows: the Annunciation in an architectural frame f.27, the Meeting of the Three Living and the Three Dead by a wayside cross f.91. The subjects of the large miniatures are as follows: quadripartite miniature in an architectural frame of the four Evangelists f.13, the Pieta with St John and the Three Maries with two small border miniatures of angels with the Instruments of the Passion f.18v, the Visitation with two small border miniatures of St John the Baptist and the Virgin journeying to her cousin's, with the opening words of the Magnificat on a scroll f.36, the Nativity in an architectural frame f.49, the Annunciation to the Shepherds with two small border miniatures of the shepherds and shepherdess dancing and the Tiburtine Sibyl showing the vision of the Virgin and Child to the Emperor Augustus f.53v, the Adoration of the Magi in an architectural frame f.56v, the Presentation in the Temple with two small border miniatures of the Circumcision and the Sacrifice of Isaac f.59, the Flight into Egypt in an architectural frame f.62, the Coronation of the Virgin with two small border miniatures of the Death and Assumption of the Virgin f.64v, the prophet Nathan admonishes David for the sins committed to obtain Bathsheba in an architectural frame f.69, the Crucifixion in an architectural frame f.85, Pentecost with two small border miniatures of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and Elijah, dressed as a Carmelite, performing the miraculous sacrifice on Mount Carmel f.88, the owner kneeling before the Virgin and Child with attendant angels in an architectural frame f.116. The subjects of the small calendar miniatures are as follows: man dining before a fire f.1, Aquarius standing in a river f.1v, man warming hands and feet at a fire f.2, Pisces in a river f.2v, pruning vines f.3, Aries against a starry sky f.3v, lovers exchanging flowers f.4, Taurus f.4v, lovers out hawking f.5, Gemini as a conjoint man and woman f.5v, man and woman harvesting hay f.6, Cancer as a lobster f.6v, two men harvesting corn f.7, Leo f.7v, threshing and winnowing f.8, Virgo holding flowers f.8v, treading grapes f.9, Libra held by a maiden f.9v, a woman carrying a sack of seed to a man sowing f.10, Scorpio f.10v, man knocking down acorns for pigs while a woman spins f.11, Sagittarius in a landscape f.11v, pig killing f.12, Capricorn in a landscape f.12v.
Estimated Price GBP 100,000.00 - 120,000.00
( USD 168,000.00 - 201,600.00 )
Actual Price GBP 121,250.00 ( USD 187,937.50 )



Auction House Christies
Auction Name Books
Sale Number #5334
Auction Date June 13, 2012 - June 13, 2012
Book Images