Hours of "HJ" or "JH" with the mystic pelican
Book of Hours (for use in Paris)
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
France, Paris, ca. 1490-1500
With 21 large miniatures and 40 small miniatures (including 24 in the calendar); miniatures attributable to three distinct artists: the master of jean d'albret (19 large miniatures and 27 small miniatures), the master of the scandalous chronicle (1 large miniature and probably 13 small miniatures) and the master of Petrarch's triumphs (1 large miniature, portrait of the unidentified patron)
An exceptional manuscript that combines poetry, mysticism and allegory.
This manuscript is a rediscovery, previously kept in a private collection. Research has not identified the patron, who is proudly depicted on folio 27v opposite the Pietà. She was, in any case, sensitive to the mystical bestiary and to forest life, which includes fierce butterflies, birds, boars, rabbits and other warlike beasts.
211 ff. (f. 1 is a numbered blank endpaper and f. 210 an unnumbered blank endpaper), numbered from 1-120, 120bis, and
121-209), collation: i6, ii6, iii8 +1, iv8+2,v8, vi8, vii8, viii8, ix8, x8, xi8, xii8, xiii8, xiv8+1, xv8+1, xvi8, xvii8, xviii8, xix8, xx8, xxi8, xxii8, xxiii8, xxiv8, xxv8, xxvi4, xxvii8, xxviii3 (of 4, the last leaf probably a ruled leaf) [blank leaves: f. 14, 27, 31, 105, 119v-120], gothic script in brown ink (calendar in brown, red, and blue ink), ruled in red ink, 16 long lines per page, text in one column (justification: 87 x 50 mm), headings in dark red and some in blue, endpapers in red and blue with white and burnished gold highlights, initials in burnished gold on blue and red backgrounds with white highlights (1 line high), initials in grey with white highlights on gold backgrounds (calendar), other initials in grey or pale pink with white highlights on red or gold backgrounds, sometimes with liquid gold highlights and floral or insect motifs (2 lines high), larger initials in blue with white highlights on red and gold backgrounds (2 to 5 lines high), illuminated borders on all pages, combination of borders on gold or reserved backgrounds with floral motifs, grotesques and zoomorphic hybrids and blue and gold acanthus leaves, other historiated borders with scenes of forest life and bestiary.
Bound in red morocco, boards decorated with a Du Seuil style decoration, outer frame of triple gilt fillet, in the centre
a second frame of triple gilt fillet with fleurons at the outer corners, metal clasps, gilt edges
(binding of the XVIIecentury). Upper spine fragile. Some interior defects with some paint chipping or folds to the parchment, some rubbing to some leaves. Very good general condition.
Size of leaves: 110 x 162 mm; size of binding: 115 x 165 mm.
1. Manuscript made for the liturgical use of Paris (Hours of the Virgin for the use of Paris; Office des morts for the use of Paris). The calendar also reflects this Parisian use. Furthermore, in terms of style, the artists who contributed to the illumination of these Hours were all Parisian, active at the end of the 15eand the beginning of the XVIecentury.
This manuscript f