Saturday, 5 December 2020

Leaves from a Book of Hours Repurposed as an Armorial: An Addendum

In August last year I blogged about some 15th-century Flemish full-page miniatures, made for inclusion in a Book of Hours or Prayerbook, whose blank rectos had been re-used in England to make an armorial of English families. 

I knew of two leaves at the Free Library, Philadelphia (one of which is shown above), and the blog was prompted by the appearance of a third at a provincial English auction. 

The outer borders of ivy-leaves, and especially the inner frames around each miniature, are unusual. The frame is very narrow at the sides but is wider at the top and bottom, in red and blue respectively, each panel being divided in two by a thin vertical gold line, and with gold quarter-circles at the corners.

I've just found one more.

At least two items were acquired by Edourd Kann (the subject of this post) at, or soon after, an auction in Leipzig in 1912:

C. G. Boerner, Auktion 110: Manuskripte mit Miniaturen des XIII. bis XV. Jahrhunderts ... Einzelminiaturen des XII. bis XVI. Jahrhunderts ... 28. November 1912

Leafing through a copy of the catalogue to try to find out if Kann acquired any other lots from the sale, I saw this reproduction; its overall style and arrangement felt very familar:


The description confirmed my hunch. It mosty describes the miniature, but ends by saying that, on the back, there are the heraldic arms of English families (Bridges, Duckett, etc.):
"Auf der Rückseite sind Wappen englisher Familien abgebildet. (Bridges, Duckett usw.)"



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