Printed on Vellum, 80 (162 x 105mm). Collation: A-I K L-N ( A1 Pigouchet device, A!v almanac in French, A2r anatomical man, A2v-8r calender,B1r-3r Gospel sequence[ Martyrdom of St. John. 3 small cuts]. B3v-8v Passion according to St. John [Betrayal] C1r- D6r Hours pf the Virgin: Matins- Lauds [Visitation], D6v-8rHours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost [Crucifixion, Pentecost]. E1r-G2vHours of the Virgin: Prime-Compline[Nativity, Annunciation to the shepherds, Massacre of the Innocents, Coronation of the Virgin}, G3r-H4r Seven Penitential Psalms [David’s Penitence], H4v- K4v Office of the Dead [Les Trois Vifs, Les Trois Morts, Dives and Lazarus], L1r- N3r Suffrages [25 smallcuts], N3v- 8r seven prayers of St. Gregory, and various prayers in Latin and French, including prayers to the Virgin for saying on Saturday and Missus est Gabriel [Mass of St.Gregory, 2 small cuts], N8r colophon, N8v blank).
96ll,(of 100 lacking C1, E3, 4 and 6). 24 lines. Type: 3:81 batarde (text), 2: 65G (Alamanc and border inscriptions), 4: 130G (Alamanc heading). Large metal cut Pigouchet device, anatomical man, and 15 (of 18) full page metal cuts from Pigouchet’s Set 1 (cf. Davies). Now housed in a custom-made clamshell quarter leather and buckram box with label.
FINELY ILLUMINATED IN GOLD AND COLOURS BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, 30 smaller metal cut portraits, multiple-piece ornamental and historiated border, those surrounding large cuts, coloured and illuminated, 1- and 2-line initials and paragraph marks in blue MS guide-letters ruled in red. Outer forms printed on the flesh side and inner forms printed on the hair side of the vellum sheets. (Very slight rubbing to painted miniatures, slight bleeding through of colouring, names of 3 saints erased from H1v.) Early C20th blue morocco tooled in gilt, the sides panelled with blue green morocco onlays and tooled in blind reminiscent of the C15th, vellum endleaves, old gilt and gauffered edges, signed by Riviere and Son.
Provenance: Inserted first vellum leaf painted with ‘S’ in gold on a stem of fleur de lys with 3 blossoms, flanked by initials F and AR. Arms painted on shields of printer’s device and early inscription erased from verso. Clarence S Bement (bookplate); Hannah D Rabinowitz (red leather book label). William Foyle (red leather bookplate). Sold at Christie’s ‘The Library of William Foyle’ Part 2, Lot 187, page 78 of the catalogue, achieved £26,000 against an estimate of £25,000 – £30,000.
A rare, finely illuminated book of hours printed by Pigouchet. ‘Among the printers of the beautifully painted French Books of Hours in the C15th and early C16th Pigouchet is pre-eminent (Davies, Murray-French, 1, p.265). The metal cuts are from Pigouchet’s set 1, as enumerated by Davies in his ground-breaking survey of Books of Hours in the Fairfax-Murray collection. It was in fact preceeded by another set of metal cuts in use by Pigouchet about 1488, and in 1492-3 by Jean Morand. Although its Almanac commences for the year 1488 the present Pigouchet Hours was unlikely to have been printed before 1492 when his Type 3 (81b) was introduced. The metal cuts 2 are not found in editions confidently dateable to before 1492. The majority of the more than 75 pre-1501 editions printed by Pigouchet for himself or for other publishers contained an Alamanc for either 1488-1508 or 1489-1508, even when they were printed as late as 16th September 1498. There continued use points to the standardisation that had come to characterise Books of Hours, both manuscript and printed, by the final years of the C15th.
Rare: ISTC lists 3 copies only, 1 each in America, France and England. Brunet Heures 2: Bohatta (1924), 508;Goff H-364; LaCombe 6.