Sunday, 9 December 2018

The Pontifical of Michel Guibé [II]

[Image credit: see below]
Having identified the patron of the Pontifical of Michel Guibé, it quickly became apparent that he is rather well known as a patron of liturgical manuscripts. There is a 2001 monograph devoted to another of his manuscripts, a Pontifical-Missal including the ordo for the coronation of the Dukes of Brittany, now in the Archives de l'évêché de Rennes:

This has only 25 lines per column:
The single leaves at Princeton and Harvard, discussed in the previous post, have 30 lines per column, which gives the text a very different overall appearance:

It is from this overall appearance that I recognised another leaf, reproduced in Phillip J. Pirages, Catalogue 54 (2007), no. 9:

[detail]
Here the text is for the consecration of a portable altar, and in the historiated initial we see a priest at an altar, asperging a portable altar with crosses in its corners and centre.

I recently found two more leaves, now in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum; doubtless two of the most important leaves from the parent manuscript. One has the text for the consecration and ordination of a bishop, surrounded by full, wide, borders, incorporating Michel Guibé's arms at all four corners (a detail  of the initial is at the top of this post):
[Image credit: see below]
The other leaf has narrower borders, and the arms only appear once, but it has two historiated initials, introducing the preface ("Per omnia secula seculorum ...") and the Canon ("Te igitur ...") for the consecration Mass:
[Image credit: see below]
[detail]
The underlined liturgical directions in the image above show that this comes from a consecration Mass, not the more general Canon of the Mass as found towards the middle of most Missals: "Et dicet dominus consecratus Te igitur cle(mentissime) cum consecrato simul et semel ...", and on the verso, at the end (not beginning) of the "Communicantes" prayer is a rubric "Pro consecrato infra actionem".

Four leaves of what I think must be the same manuscript (although described as Benedictional -- a different type of book, but also made for the use of a bishop) were included in a catalogue for a Sotheby's sale on 13 December 1965, as lot 173:
"Four illuminated leaves from a Benedictional written for a Bishop of Rennes, double column, 30 lines, ... (353mm. by 250mm.) ... The arms of the Bishop for whom the manuscript was written appear twice, surmounted by a pastoral staff, in the borders of one leaf."
It is very likely that one of these leaves is the Harvard one, because the man who gave it to the Houghton Library, who owned very few western medieval manuscripts, bought other lots from the same Sotheby's catalogue.

We therefore seem, so far, to have collected images of six leaves, including three in institutions, and written evidence recording the existence of three more, a total of nine leaves:
  • Ordo for the consecration and ordination of a bishop.
    Initial “A”(d) with A figure kneeling before three bishops, one of whom holds an open book, another blesses, and the third holds a mitre and crozier.
    Seattle Art Museum, Inv. 54.118.
  • Consecration Mass.
    Initial “P”(er) with A priest at an altar, arms outspread;
    Initial “T”(e) with A priest holding a wafer over an altar.
    Seattle Art Museum, Inv. 47.15.
  • Consecration of a Portable Altar.
    Initial “A” with A priest asperging an altar on which is a portable altar.
    Olim Pirages.
  • Ordo for a church and cemetery.
    Initial “C” with A Bishop flanked by two deacons(?).
    Currently/formerly at the Gilded Lion, Princeton
  • Mass for the Dedication of a Church, and instructions for the Reconciling of a Profaned Cemetery.
    Initial "S" with A bishop leading a procession in a cemetery.
    Private collection, UK.
  • Ordo for Holding a Synod, and litany of saints.
    Houghton Library, MS Lat 470.
  • Three more leaves with five "scenes of ecclesiastical ceremonies".
    Formerly Sotheby's, 13 December 1965, lot 173.











The Seattle Art Museum's Rights and Reproductions Department requires that "All reproductions of Photographic Material will be accompanied by the following credit information as specified in Schedule A: collection, accession number, photographic material, artist, date, medium, size, credit line, photo credit." So, in accordance with those requirements, here are those data:

Collection Seattle Art Museum
Acc # 54.118
Image Name Renaissance Ill. Ms. page; Consecrating a Bishop
Artist Name French
Object Date 15th century
Medium Ink, pigment, and burnished gold on vellum
Dimensions 13 3/4 x 9 7/8 in. (34.9 x 25.1 cm), image and sheet size
Credit Line Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Photographer Elizabeth Mann

Collection Seattle Art Museum
Acc # 47.15
Image Name Renaissance Ill. Ms. page; Priest saying Mass
Artist Name French
Object Date 15th century
Medium Gold leaf and ink on vellum
Dimensions 10 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (26.67 x 17.46 cm) Overall h.: 23 1/8 in. Overall w.: 19 1/8 in.
Credit Line Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Photographer Elizabeth Mann

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