Wednesday 26 December 2012

A Favourite Catalogue Description

BL, Harley MS. 2333:
"A paper Book in 12mo. written as I suppose, by one of those Friers who, in times of Popery, used to inveigle people to saunter, & squander away their time & money in unnecessary Voiages to Jerusalem; leaving these Thieves behind with the Government of their Wives, Familes, & Estates; to their great Loss, if not Destruction. ..." 

An Unknown MS from Nostell Priory

While in Los Angeles this summer I enquired of several local institutions about their holdings, and got a very helpful response from Emma Roberts at the Los Angeles Public Library, who sent me pictures and other information about their only medieval manuscript. Before I left LA I was able to spend an hour examining and photographing it.

The volume consists of a front flyleaf and a back pastedown; one quire of 8 leaves; one partial quire of 6 leaves; and 12 more individual leaves, some of them consecutive, others isolated, in the remains of its medieval oak binding:

Monday 24 December 2012

Miniatures from the Loredan Hours

Four miniatures from a Book of Hours illuminated by Willem Vrelant and the Fastolf Master (now Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, ms. 575), have recently come to light. The manuscript was the main subject of James Douglas Farquhar, Creation and Imitation: The Work of a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript Illuminator, Nova University Studies in the Humanities, 1 (Fort Lauderdale, 1976). The manuscript was exhibited last year in the Flemish manuscripts exhibition in Paris.

The coats of arms below the miniatures have been erased from leaves which have been dispersed:

But most of those in the parent volume preserve the original heraldry:

Sunday 23 December 2012

Office of the Dead: Reims

One of the few things missing from Erik Drigsdahl's excellent website is a table for identifying Offices of the Dead of different Uses, comparable to his tables of Hours of the Virgin (he does, however, provide a list of the responsories).  I have collected many over the years, especially non-Sarum English ones, but never had time to put them on the web. So, until I get organised to make a useful table, maybe I'll put some Uses up here individually, starting with Reims, from the Houston Hours.

Saturday 22 December 2012

A Reims Book of Hours written by Raulinus de Sorcy

A full set of digital images have recently been made available of a Book of Hours of the Use of Reims, now in Houston. It was alluded to at the end of a list of Reims Horae by Jean-Luc Deuffic in 2007, on his Pecia blog, and has recently been blogged about at Houston.

Following the gospel extracts (fol.15r) is the scribal colophon:
"Raulinus de Sorcy scrip-
toris hunc librum scripsit. et
in omnibus complevit. Misereatur sibi deus."

Friday 21 December 2012

A Book of Hours Owned by the Duke de Berry?

The first proper examination of British Library, Yates Thompson MS. 37 was Sydney Cockerell's description for Henry Yates Thompson's catalogue, in which he wrote:
Provenance. In a miniature on f. 92 a man in a rich red robe kneels before the Virgin and Child. He somewhat resembles the portraits of Jean Duke of Berry, and the fact that the Hours are of the use of Bourges makes it not unreasonable to conjecture that the book was intended for that great collector, though there is no signature or coat of arms to make it certain.”
BL, Yates Thompson MS. 37, fol.92r (detail)