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Lot 115: BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on

Est: £50,000 GBP - £80,000 GBP
Christie'sJuly 13, 2016London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Bruges, c.1480]
A small, intimate manuscript illuminated in Flanders by the Wodhull-Haberton Master for an Italian patron and retaining its
early armorial textile binding.
(1) The style of both miniatures and borders shows the origin of this Hours in Flanders, most probably Bruges, and the rounded script
is characteristic of Flemish manuscripts made for patrons from south of the Alps. The fnal prayer, like the preceding text apparently a
contemporary addition, shows the owner to have been an Italian woman, ‘si grave peccatrice’. The rubric, also in Italian, attributes the prayer
to St Gregory and names women among the categories appropriate to pray it. (2) The binding, late 16th- or perhaps early 17th-century, has
the embroidered coat of arms of the madruZZo, the leading family of Trent in the Alto-Adige. The family dominated the government of the
principality and produced four successive prince-bishops. Most notably perhaps cristoForo madruZZo (1512-78) who played a prominent role
in the reforming Council of Trent, which resulted in the city’s greater fame, infuence and extensive artistic and architectural patronage.
Calendar, lacking May, ff.1-11; Hours of the Cross ff.13-17v; Hours of the Holy Spirit ff.19-23; Mass of the Virgin ff.25-31; Extract from the Gospel
of John ff.31v-32v; Offce of the Virgin, use of Rome ff.34-134v; Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany ff.136-161; Offce of the Dead ff.163-206;
Psalter of St Jerome ff.208-221; Obsecro te ff.222v-227; Gradual Psalms ff.226v-231; indulgenced prayer of St Gregory, in Italian, opening Signore idio
intendi e exaudisci [...] ff.231-239.
The miniatures are the work of the Wodhull-Harberton Master who was named from his illumination in a Delft Book of Hours of the 1480s
(H. Defoer et al, The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Illumination, 1989, no 89). Notwithstanding his activity in the northern Netherlands
the Master was Flemish trained and the present manuscript was clearly produced before he left the southern Netherlands. The borders
are characteristically Bruges of a type common in the 1470s. The Master often drew inspiration from Memling and this is evident in his
compositions here, for example the Annunciation and the Nativity, and is a feature that must have been particularly appealing to Italian patrons
and collectors who had such great enthusiasm for Memling. The miniatures in the present manuscript, even on this relatively small scale, are
excellent demonstrations of his brilliant technique: convincing detail is executed with skilful economy and complex settings extending into
depth and peopled with expressive, interactive fgures are convincingly evoked.
The subjects of the miniatures are: Crucifxion f.12v, Pentecost f.18v, Virgin and Child with Angels f.24v, Annunciation f.33v, Visitation
f.60v, Nativity f.76v, Annunciation to the Shepherds f.83v, Adoration of the Magi f.90v, Presentation in the Temple f.96v, Massacre of the
Innocents f.102v, Flight into Egypt f.113v, Coronation of the Virgin f.122v, David in Penitence f.135v, Raising of Lazarus f.162v, Penitent St
Jerome before the Crucifx f.207v,
physical description and condition: 90 x 70mm. 239 leaves. 14 lines, ruled space 50 x 35mm, FiFteen Full-paGe miniatures, page-edges gilt and gauffered (lacking one leaf,
worming to fnal folios with loss of outer margin from fnal leaf, a few pages with ink loss, miniatures rubbed and with small losses). ?late 16th-century embroidered teXtile bindinG over wooden boards (losses to boards and fabric at corners, edges spine exposing underlying
tawed leather, lacking clasp and catch).

Auction Details

Valuable Books and Manuscripts

July 13, 2016, 02:00 PM BST

8 King Street, St. James's, London, LDN, SW1Y 6QT, UK