Saturday, 25 January 2020

Unrecognised Brölemann Provenances

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have been attempting to create a list of the Brölemann manuscripts, with a detailed account of their pre- and post-Brölemann provenances. It is now nearly 100 pages long, and I hope to share it fairly soon.

This exercise has been interesting for lots of reasons, one of which is to see how many later owners were, and still are, unaware of Bröleman's prior ownership. In some cases this is doubtless because the volume has been rebound, and the old covers with the Brölemann bookplate discarded, but in many others the volume has apparently not been rebound, which suggests that the bookplate was never there. I suspect that Henry-Auguste Bröleman (d. 1854), who formed the collection, put his characteristic blue-edged octagonal labels in all his most valuable books, but that towards the end of the century his grandson, Arthur-Auguste (d. 1904), put his bookplate in them only selectively.

Here are some manuscripts whose most recent or current owners seem (according to the most recent descriptions that I can find) not to know of their prior Brölemann provenances:

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 37
Hours, Use of Rome, NE France

  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 202, Cat. B no. 56, Cat. C no. 37; by descent to:
  • Madame Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926 lot 45; bought by Margeson for £600
  • The Property of a Lady”, sold at Sotheby’s 22 June 1982, lot 92, bought for £49,500 by Kraus:
  • H. P. Kraus, book dealers, of New York, their Catalogue 165 (1983), no. 11, priced $180,000.
  • Present whereabouts unknown.
EDIT: 28 March 2020
François Avril kindly informs me that this MS is now at the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, and indeed there is an image of The Nativity on their website:
 Gift of David and Betty Jones; 2008.4 [Source]

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 41
Hours, Use of Rome, illuminated by a follower of Jean Bourdichon. 

  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 102, Cat. B no. 27, Cat. C no. 41; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 47; bought by Olschki for £345:
  • Leo S. Olschki (1861–1940) his inv. no. 42503; perhaps bought from him by:
  • Herbert Nathan Straus (1881–1933), and his wife:
  • Therese Kuhn Straus (1884–1977); purchased (from her heirs?) in 1984 by:
  • The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; now their MS M.1054
Images here; description here.

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 44
Hours, Use of Rome, illuminated by a follower of Willem Vrelant. 
  • The family of Andrieu de Torney: according to a long inscription on the lower pastedown it passed to his niece, who married the younger brother of:
  • Pierre Guyot de Giey (1771–1844), of Langres (on whom see Un bienfaiteur insigne du Musée de Langres: Pierre Guyot de Giey, sa vie, sa maison, ses collections (1771–1844)), who signed the inscription “Pierre Guyot de Giey, à Langres”, and records, “J’ai payé ce précieux manuscrit à mon frère puiné qui le possédait par succession du testament de M. Andrieu de Tourney, dont il a épousé la nièce”; given in 1824 to:
  • Gilbert-Paul Aragonnès d'Orcet (1762–1832), bishop of Langres, with his bookplate, on whose death it was returned to:
  • Pierre Guyot de Giey.
  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 30, Cat. B no. 22, Cat. C no. 44; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 51; bought by Zwemmer for £145.
  • Paul Faralicq (1868–1956) and his wife Madeleine; donated shortly before his death to:
  • Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris; now their Coll. Faralicq 7
Images and a brief description are here; a more detailed description is here.

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 49
The Diurnal of Margaretha Widmann; Strasbourg, dated 1495
  • Written by Marguerite Widmann, of the Dominican nunnery of St-Agnès, Strasbourg, in 1495, “scriptum pro me margaretham widmenen ordinis predicatorum [ ... ] Mcccclxxxxv”.
  • Bought at the village of Schillingheim, near Strasbourg, in 1841, by:
  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 47, Cat. B no. 87, Cat. C no. 49; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 13; bought by Goldschmidt for £82.
  • Antiquariat Hiersemann, book dealer of Leipzig; acquired in 1927 by:
  • Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Bonn; now their S. 1943
Published most recently by Jürgen Geiss, Katalog der mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn (Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter, 2015), pp. 301–02 (col. ill.)

The text in the image above begins at the top "Anno dni. M.CCCC.xlix ... fuit nativitas in hanc vallem miserie sororis Margarethe Widmenen. ...", and is followed by the date of her noviciate (1466) and of her profession (1468) in the Dominican convent of St Agnes, Strasbourg; she is depicted being presented to the Virgin and Child in the lower margin.

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 59
Book of Hours (Use of Utrecht), with illumination attributed to the Master of the Boston City of God and the Master of Gijsbrecht van Brederode.
  • Jacob Frédéric van Renesse van Baer, seigneur de Grypskerken en Poppendamme, with a record of his marriage in 1643 to Margarita de Jonge van Baerdwyk (d. 1652), blessed by T.R.P. Boudewyn, priest of the church of St-Jésus; three leaves at the end with genealogical notes on:
  • the Renesse family from 1578 to 1653.
  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 37, Cat. B no. 40, Cat. C no. 59; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 69; bought by Permain for £450 for:
  • William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951); offered by Gimbel Bros and Hammer Galleries, 1941, no. 480-4;
  • Otto F. Ege (1888–1951), by descent to his widow Louise née Lange; and to their daughter:
  • Elizabeth Freudenheim née Ege (c.1927–1996); given by Milton B. Freudenheim (1927– ) in 1998 in memory of his wife to:
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, now their Acc.1998.124
Images and brief description here. The image at the top of this post is from the same manuscript.

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 82
The Antiphoner of Marguerite de Bacovel
  • Written and decorated for Marguerite de Bacovel: her name and the date 1539 each appear more than once, and “Ce livre est a l’usage de soeur Marguerite de Bacovel religieuse professe de la maison du Mont Ste Marie lez Gosnay. Et script par frere Loys de Villechecq, vicaire de lad. maison et profes des chartreux les al’be 1542”.
  • The Carthusian nunnery of Ste-Anne, Bruges: “aen de Chartreusinnen vase Brugge”
  • M. Marguier, antiquities dealer (including molluscs), of Paris; “provenant de Marguier”, according to:
  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 46, Cat. B no. 86, Cat. C no. 82; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 16; bought by Ellis for £18.
  • Louisa Dexter Sharpe Metcalf (1866–1959), presented in 1947 to:
  • The John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI; sold at Sotheby’s 18 May 1981 lot 12
  • Christie’s, 25 November 1992 lot 17, bought by Symonds, and soon afterwards with:
  • Dr Jörn Günther Antiquariat: offered in his Katalog und Retrospektive (1993), no. XVI.

Brölemann Catalogue, 1897, no. 97
Statutes of the Order of St-Michel, in French
  • “Apparently one of the de luxe manuscripts ordered by François I, king of France (1494–1547) from the Parisian court painter Étienne Colaud in 1523 for presentation to his loyal knights, this example intended for his uncle”:
  • René of Savoy (1473–1525) (illegitimate son of Philip II, Duke of Savoy), with his arms as a full-page frontispiece (fol. 8r).
  • Antoine Moriau (1699–1760), of Paris, book collector (on whom see Descimon, 2011): with his circular red ink-stamp with his arms.
  • Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775–1854), Cat. A no. 59, Cat. B no. 62, Cat. C no. 97; by descent to:
  • Mme Etienne Mallet (1853–1929): sold at Sotheby’s, 4–5 May 1926, lot 149; bought by Ellis for £20.
  • [EDIT, 5 May 2020: J. T. Adams, Esq. of Snaithfield, Sheffield, sold by his executors at Sotheby's, 7 December 1931, lot 189]
  • The Royal House of Savoy; sold at Christie’s, 15 October 2019 lot 29 lot 29.

1 comment:

  1. Great work : thanks a lot, Peter !
    I am looking forward to your complete list.


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