Illuminated manuscript.- Substantial fragment of a Book of Hours, perhaps for Franciscan Use, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 53 leaves only, wanting leaves throughout (but apparently in present state in late 19th century), single column of 17 lines of a good late gothic bookhand, capitals touched in yellow, rubrics in red, line-fillers in blue and burgundy heightened with white penwork and drops of liquid gold, one- and 2-line initials in gold on similarly coloured grounds, some of these with single-line foliage sprays in adjacent borders terminating in coloured leaves, flowerbuds and gold bezants, larger initials in same colours, enclosing scrolling foliage on gold grounds, leaves with large initials with decorated floral borders on three sides, small spots, stains and small smudges, some leaves slightly cockled in places, else good condition, 161 x 121mm., bound in 19th-century brown calf, blind-tooled with floral sprays at corners and double fillet, floral tools on spine with gilt title: “MISSAL”, rubbed, corners bumped and joints with small splits, marbled endleaves, small 4to, North Eastern France or French Flanders, [c.1460].
⁂ This is the first appearance of this volume on the market in nearly a century and a half. This volume opens with Vespers and Compline from the Hours of the Virgin, with parts of the Seven Penitential Psalms and a Litany, Hours of the Holy Spirit and Office of the Dead following. It ends with the Doulce dame de misericorde prayers in French, ending abruptly in the fifteenth and last prayer.
Provenance: (1) Written and illuminated for a patron in north-eastern France or French Flanders: the litany includes SS. Audoin and Mellonius (4th- and 7th-century bishops of Rouen), as well as SS. Francis and Anthony of Padua, an early Franciscan preacher; (2) Charles H.L. Woodd (1821-93) of Rosslyn House in Hampstead, wine merchant, evangelical and close friend of John Ruskin: his ex libris on front endleaf dated November 1874; and by descent to present owner