Wednesday, 23 December 2015

An Unrecognised Book of Hours Made for Philip the Good [II] - An Addendum

Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 751, back pastedown (detail)

Anne Korteweg kindly emailed me about my most recent post, and with her permission I am sharing her observations (slightly edited):
The Vaillant who owned the Book of Hours of Philip the Good could be the Vaillant who put his name on the leaf with signatures in Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 751. That manuscript is a Quintus Curtius Historiae Alexandri Magni in French translation. It was owned by Engelbert of Nassau (1454-1504), who put his coat of arms on the front page. At the end there is a leaf on which a whole lot of Burgundian courtiers wrote their mottos.
First and largest is Engelbert, others are Ladron de Guevara, Lord of Jonville, since 1495 maître d'hotel of Maximilan, his son Diego de Guevara (d. 1520), maître d'hotel of Charles V, and Philibert de Veyré, grand bailli des bois of Hainaut (d. 1512). The date of the signatures is somewhere between 1490-1500, with a date ante quem 1504 when Engelbert dies. The leaf was published by Scot McKendrick in his article on Curtius in Linda Brownrigg's volume Medieval Manuscripts of the Latin Classics, 1996; he reproduces a photo of a part of it (p.148), and identifies only Philibert de Veyré.
The motto of Engelbert "Ce sera moy / Nassou" occurs twice and next to it stands twice the word "Vaillant" written in a different script (once "Vaillant" and once "Vai" followed by a curl). The script looks very professional, and differs from the apparent autographs of the other mottos. It also differs from the inscription in your book, that also seems to be an autograph.
[A detail of "Vaillant" is at the top of this post]
This Vaillant could very well be the owner of Philip the Good's book, as under Maximilian quite a lot of manuscripts left the Burgundian library. What is curious is that people always put their name in a book, and I know of no other case in which someone used his motto. Anyway, his occurrence among a couple of Burgundian courtiers would fit well into the provenance history.
Some colour images of the Bodleian manuscript are available here.

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