Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis ad usum Bisuntinum – Book of Hours – 15th Century

We have for sale a 15th Century Book of Hours – Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis ad usum Bisuntinum – 4to, brown levant morocco blind-tooled with fleurs-de-lys and shells, vellum linings, gilt edges, by Lortic fils.

A French or Flemish Book of Hours written in large and small gothic characters upon vellum at the beginning of the fifteenth century for use in France. 227 x 162mm.

There are 185 leaves, including 12 for the calendar, with 14 lines to the page, besides 2 final blank leaves ruled in red ink. The first leaf is a vellum frontispiece containing the arms of a bishop, his mitre and crozier, within a wreath of laurel. There are 16 half-page miniatures all with oval tops, and numerous large and small illuminated initials.

All of the pages of text have lateral “line and leaf” borders in black and burnished gold with scrolls and flowers in colors, surrounded by gilt fillets. The miniatures have double borders, — narrow trilateral designs in red and blue on a burnished gold ground within wide borders of thickly scattered flowers and scrolls introducing birds, vases, and grotesques. There are also four full-page borders of similar design.

The subjects of the large miniatures are:

  1. St. John the Evangelist [F14r]
  2. St. Luke [F16r]
  3. St. Matthew [F18r]
  4. St. Mark [F20r]
  5. The Annunciation [F22r]
  6. The Visitation of Elizabeth [F44r]
  7. The Nativity [F58v]
  8. The Announcement to the Shepherds [F65v]
  9. The Circumcision [F72r]
  10. The Adoration of the Magi [F78v]
  11. The Flight into Egypt [F85r]
  12. The Coronation of the Virgin [F95r]
  13. The Crucifixion [F102r]
  14. The Descent of the Holy Spirit [F107r]
  15. King David Praying [F111r]
  16. A Burial Service within a chapel [F133v]

Numbers 1-4 and 13-14 have diaper backgrounds in blue, red, and burnished gold.

The Manuscript is interesting for its quaintness of composition, freedom of treatment, and freshness of color. The Calendar, most of the rubics, and the prayers on the last eighteen pages are in French.

From the personal collection of Robert Hoe.

Price: $115,000.00


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