Lot 180: A mutilated but interesting Breviary, together with a companion volume

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

June 19, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Description: MANUSCRIPTS - [ANONYMOUS]. - Manuscrit venant de la Ville de la Mothe. Breviary (Layman’s Breviary) for the use of the Diocese of Toul (Lorraine) in Latin.. France, Lorraine (possibly Lamothe, 15 km south of Neufchâteau; 30 km south of Jeanne d’Arc’s Domrémy and ca. 40 km south of Toul), c. 1480. 14.7 x 10.2 cm. (trimmed). The first page in floral border with foliage and acanthus leaves and a depiction of two figures (the patron?) in the lower margin (terribly damaged). 7 full-page miniatures of c. 8 x 6 cm. in the same kind of border with a text underneath beginning with a 3-line blue initial in a gold background with vines with trifold red petals in the eyes of the initials (all miniatures severely damaged). 11 lvs. (Calendar), 308 pp. (early 19th-century pagination). Many initials in gold (1-3 ll.; two cut out) and filling pieces in a red and blue field heightened with white. 12 lines to a page; written in a clear textualis formata script (written space: 8.7 x 6 cm.). One or more leaves lacking between pp. 70/71,74/75132/133,144/145, 146/147, 154/155, and 248/249. Early nineteenth century binding: deerskin with gilt lines along the edges of both covers, ribbed spine with gilt title. Origin: in the upper margin of pp. 32-33 is written in a 17th-century hand: ‘Psautier à l’usage du Diocese de Toul’ (Lorraine). In the lower margins of p. 190 and 191 is written twice (in the same hand?) the name of the probable owner in the 17th century ‘Jean De Goix’ a typical Bourgondian name, which also occurs in a note on p. 144 mentioning (as far as readable) the purchase of (this?) book from Jean Felix Devie at La Mothe! Contents: 11 lvs: Calendar written in black and red with gilt ‘KL’ monogram in a red and blue field (January lacking). pp. 1-16: As usual the Breviary begins with the Gospel sequences (the first sentences (c. 4 pages for each of the four Gospels) of the Gospels of resp. John, Luke, Mathew and Mark, interspersed with some prayers. Then follow the Psalms and Canticles for reciting during the established Hours in the sequence of the Divine Office for the use of the Diocese of Toul, interspersed with hymns, prayers, antiphons and responses. pp. 17-57: Psalms 94, 8, 18,, 23, 44-45, 86, 95-97, pp. 57-59: Prayers. pp. 59-64: Lectiones. pp. 64-70: Canticle: ‘Te Deum …’. pp. 71-74: Psalms 92:3-end; 99, 62:1-6. pp. 75-76: Psalm 66:3-end. pp. 76-81: Canticle of the three young men in the furnace. pp. 82-91: Psalm 148-150. pp. 91-95: Canticle of Zacharias. pp. 95-97: Prayers p. 98: Miniature: Adoration of the shepherds. pp. 99-113: Psalms 53, 116-117 p. 114: Miniature: A monk in prayer (?). pp. 115-124: Psalms 119-121 p. 125: Miniature: Presentation in the Temple. pp. 126-132: Psalms 122-124. pp. 133-138: Psalms 125:2-end, 126-127. p. 139: Miniature: Flight to Egypt. pp. 140-141: Hymns and prayers. pp. 141-143: Canticle of the Virgin: ‘Magnificat’. pp. 143-144: Hymns and prayers. pp. 145-146: Psalm 12:2-end, 42:1. pp. 147-151: Psalms 128, 130. pp. 151-152: Canticle of Simeon: ‘Nunc dimittis …’ pp. 152-153: Hymns and prayers. p. 154: blank. pp. 155-188: Psalms 6:5-end, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142. pp. 189-209: Litany followed by hymns and prayers. p. 210: Miniature: Man (owner?) in prayer kneeling before Mary (with child on her lap?). pp. 210-221: the prayer to the Virgin: ‘Obsecro te Domina …’. p. 222: Miniature: Pietà. pp. 222-223: The famous Marian Hymn, and one of the four Marian antiphones, inc. ‘Salve regina …’. p. 224: blank. p. 225: Miniature: monk kneeling en praying before a tomb (word underneath: ‘placebo’ (from Psalm 114, being part of the Office of the Dead ritual, taking the relevant verse from the Vulgate. At the end of each recited passage, the congregation made a response (antiphon) to each recitation. The celebrant’s first recitation was Psalm 114:1–9 and the congregation’s first responding antiphon was verse 9 of that Psalm. pp. 226-248: Psalms 114, 137, 145, 5, 7. pp. 249-250: Lectio. pp. 250-273: Psalms 22, 24, 26. pp. 273-276: Lectiones. pp. 277-305: Psalms 39-41, 64. pp. 305-308: Canticle of Isaia. Added: a second manuscript on the Breviary, composed and written by the owner of this Breviary at he beginning of the 20th century. On various places in the manuscript as well in the Breviary is written his name: ‘Docteur A. Rérolle, Autun, Saonne et Loire, 1907-08’. 172 leaves (18 x 11 cm). Bound in green morocco, spine gilt with the title ‘Contre partie du manuscrit de La Mothe’.
Artist or Maker: [ANONYMOUS].
Dr. A. Rérolle is originating from a well-known family in Autun (he is perhaps a son of the ‘notoire honoraire’ Alexis Rérolle (1811-1886) at Autun). In this second manuscript, dedicated ‘à Mr Iverneau’, Dr. Rérolle has analysed the contents of the Breviary by noting page by page what and which texts can be found in the manuscript, using many clippings from a 19th-century printed Psalter or Breviary, or other devotional and liturgical books (ff. 24-131; the Calendar is on ff. 10-22). On ff. 133-160 is an alphabetical index of abbreviations and on ff. 161-169r a ‘Table des Evangiles, psaumes, cantiques, hymnes, leçons, et autres prières du Manuscrit.’ In his extensive introduction on ff. 4-9 he speaks of the orthography, the script (basing himself on such works as Mabillon’s De re diplomatica from 1687 (!)) and the manuscript itself, mistakingly considering it to be a Book of Hours; on f. 4r he speaks of a ‘livre de prières latin’. Dr Rérolle begins his ‘Avertissement’ on f. 4r with the story of his purchase of the manuscript. He tells that he bought the book at the end of the 19th century from an old lady in Outremécourt, a few hundred meters north of La Mothe (now a castle in ruins after the siege of 1638, but in the 15th century a city housing a Augustinian convent). Her ancestors were from La Mothe. The manuscript was in a deplorable state, he continues, because children had played with it and had cut out the initials of their names to past them to the title-pages of their own devotional books. He had it rebound in a reconstructed order, as far as possible. A very unusual set.
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