Item #68622 Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent. BOOK OF HOURS.
Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent
Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent
Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent
Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent

Book of Hours Illuminated on Vellum with Four Full-Page Miniatures and Ten Smaller Miniatures


Book of Hours illuminated in Ghent.

Ghent, 1470.

ANONYMOUS GHENT ARTIST. Book of Hours.[In Latin]. [Ghent, c.1470s-1480s].

Illuminated manuscript on vellum. Illuminated in Ghent in the 1470s-1480s, bearing the stylistic features of works painted by the great illuminators active in the city such as the Vienna Master Mary of Burgundy. According to Christie's apparently textually complete but likely lacking one or two full-page miniatures. (6 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches; 170 x 115 mm). [1], 110, [1] leaves. With modern pencil foliation. Text in 15 lines.

With numerous rubrics in red, and one-line initials heightened in gold, blue and red. Many two-line initials in gold, on pink and blue grounds throughout. One four-line illuminated initial with partial border of acanthus and hairline tendrils with gold leaves, 7 six-line initials in gold leading to partial borders, 6 seven-line initials on gold grounds. Initials and text bordered in gild within full borders also featuring fruits, flowers, birds, animals and grotesques. Four of these facing four full-page miniatures within full borders. 10 additional small miniatures with partial borders.

Seventeenth-century full calf, rebacked preserving original spine. With paper pastedowns. Boards and spine ruled in gilt. Boards with some wear. Some occasional marginal staining or small holes. Marginal corners of leaves 63, 66, 78 and 106 with some repair, not affecting manuscript. A minor amount of light rubbing to borders and miniatures. Overall a beautiful example of illumination and miniatures. With colors extremely bright and gold exceptionally brilliant. Housed in a custom morocco clamshell.

[From Christie's: "Provenance: (1) The liturgical use is generic, for Rome, while the style of decoration and the calendar suggest an origin in Ghent: the latter features Sts Amalberga (10 July; in red) and Macarius (9 May; the elevation of his relics in Ghent). (2) An early owner was presumably responsible for the pilgrim stamps added to f.1, traces of which still remain. (3) Sotheby’s, 10 July 1968, lot 300. (3) Christie’s, 16 July 1969, lot 144. (4) Christie’s Paris, 29 November 2011, lot 121.

Content: Calendar ff.1-6; Hours of the Cross ff.7-9 (presumably lacking opening miniature); Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.11-13v (presumably lacking opening miniature); Mass of the Virgin ff.14-19v; Gospel extracts ff.20-25; Memorials, opening with St John the Baptist ff.25v-27v; Obsecro te ff.28-31v; O intemerata ff.31v-34; Office of the Virgin, use of Rome ff.35; Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.80-94v; Short Office of the Dead ff.96-110.

Illumination: The rather sparse borders of blue and gold acanthus sprays and flowers on plain vellum with birds or grotesques at mid-height were popularised in Ghent in the 1470s: they are very close to the borders painted in the Ordonnance du premier écuyer copied in by Nicholas Spierinc for Charles the Bold in 1469 (Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. s. n. 2616), which reappear in the Hours of Engelbert of Nassau (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Douce 219–220) illuminated in Ghent on the 1470s by the Master of Mary of Burgundy. The miniatures, with their realistic scaling of the figures to their settings, must originate in the rich pattern pool fed by compositions from the great illuminators active in Ghent from the 1470s onwards such as the Master of Mary of Burgundy and Lieven van Lathem. The Funeral Mass miniature (f.95v), for example, is a simplified version of a composition that appears in two Books of Hours painted in Ghent in the 1470s or 1480s: one held in Oxford (Bodleian Library, Gough Liturg. 15, f.94) and another in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal (ms 638, f.75).

The subjects of the four full-page miniature are as follows: Pentecost f.10v; Virgin and Child f.34v; David in Prayer f.79v; Funeral Mass f.95v. The subjects of the small miniatures are as follows: St John f.20, St Luke f.21; St Matthew f.22v; St Mark f.24; St John the Baptist f.25v; St Andrew f.26; St Laurence f.26v; St Barbara f.27; St Katharine f.27v; Deposition f.28.

Portions of description taken from Christie's London.

HBS 68622.


Price: $67,500.00

Item #68622