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BOOK OF HOURS, all publishers, arranged by library location
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Tuesday, 1 December 2020   

MANUSCRIPTS (by location)
[Altshausen, private collection, House of Württemberg]
Livre d’heures Maria Stuart. Faksimile-Ausgabe der Handschrift aus dem Besitz des herzoglichen Hauses Württemberg. Handschrift, entstanden 1510/15 in Tours.
Darmstadt: Facsimilia Art & Edition Ebert, 1988. 4 x 5.2 cm, 300, 208 pp.

This is the smallest book of hours known and because of its history, the refined quality of its script and the high standard of its illuminations, one of the most precious MSS in private ownership. It was created around the time of François I. While the script can be connected to Geofroy Tory, the miniatures point to the “School of Rouen” (in Rouen around 1500, but by 1510-20 situated near the Royal Court in Tours or Paris). It came into Mary Stuart’s possession approximately two generations after its creation and is a complete book of hours with all the textual features of its genre: beautifully written small humanistic script using pages of 21 lines, delightful, diversely arranged border decorations, numerous gold initials on colored background, 14 miniatures depicting scenes with complete figures in detailed landscapes and richly embellished interiors. Commentary: Hansmartin Decker-Hauff, Eberhard König, Myra D. Orth & Johannes Rathofer. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in full leather, with clamshell linen case. €1780   

[Aosta, Collégiale Saint-Pierre & Saint-Ours]
Messale di Giorgio di Challant, secolo XV - Aosta.
Scarmagno: Priuli & Verlucca Editori, 1993. 34 x 51 cm, 352, 147 pp.

Among the major works of late medieval figurative art in its possession, the ancient Collegiate Church of Sts. Peter and Orso in Aosta has a work of great historic value: the Missale Magnum Festivum Georgii Challandi, which was commissioned in the late 15th century by a descendant of the most powerful and illustrious feudal family in the Aosta Valley, Giorgio di Challant, the prior of the Aosta Collegiate Church from 1468 to 1509 and governor of the Duchy of Aosta. This is an illuminated missal comprises of 176 parchment folios. The illuminations are of high artistic quality, as is exemplified in the large plate of the Crucifixion that precedes the Canon, and those representing the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity, the feasts of St. Orso, St. Peter and Paul, St. John the Baptist, Easter, the Pentecost, Corpus Domini, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Birth of the Virgin Mary and All Saints' Day. In these works the decorative and figurative elements, which often draw inspiration from nature, transcend merely stylistic decoration to become a necessary and expressive part of the entire iconographic layout and the text. Besides the many scenes represented—true masterpieces of a particular art form that differs considerably from the Italian schools of the time—the decorations in the margins with their warm, vivid colors and the large initial decorative letters, many of which are rendered in gold leaf, reveal the artist's uncommon ability in varying the arrangement of the decoration without lapsing into repetition. Commentary in It-Fr-Eng. Limited edition of 333 copies, bound in quarter brown calfskin with blind toolings and wooden boards with tie-strings; slipcase with wooden headboards and brown calfskin sides with blind toolings.  

[Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preuß. Kulturbesitz, germ. oct. 9]
Albrecht Glockendon. Das goldene Kalenderbuch von 1526.
Stuttgart: Verlag Müller & Schindler, 1977. 10 x 14 cm, 32, 72 pp.

This precious calendar from 1526, decorated with 14 wonderful miniatures, comes from the workshop of the Nuremberg miniaturist Albrecht Glockendon. It comprises an “eternal” calendar following the tradition of medieval examples. The 12 illuminations of the months depict scenes from rural and urban life, and characteristic of Glockendon, numerous cultural, historical, architectural and costume details are depicted within a very small space. The monthly scenes are followed by an astrological man, a bloodletting chart and and a calendar rosette. Commentary by Hermann Degering and Frauke Steenbock. Limited edition of 800 copies, bound in full leather with generous stamping; clamshell case. €520   

[Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preuß. Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkab., 78 B 12]
Das Berliner Stundenbuch der Maria von Burgund und Kaiser Maximilians.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1998. 7 x 10.3 cm, 724 pp + commentary.

One of the most beautifully painted manuscripts of the princely Burgundian household is this Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy and Emperor Maximilian. Their marriage culminated in the long planned liason of the houses of Habsburg and Burgundy. The codex probably dates back to the time of their marriage somewhere between 1477 and 1480. This makes it one of the earliest examples of the new style which was to mark late Burgundian book painting until the late 16th century. The miniatures of this book of hours are among the most extraordinary examples of the art of book painting which captures the world even in the smallest formats. The most famous one is the full picture of “The Three Living and the Three Dead”. The three-dimensional floral ornamental borders lend form to detailed pictorial fields showing precise depictions of Bible scenes and the lives of the Saints. Presenting both interiors and wide landscapes the artist competes with the best panel painters of this time. He set new standards not only in panel painting but also in illuminations. The perspectives had changed tremendously, the scenes described with suspense and drama when dealing with passion and martyrdom, with poetry when commemorating the childhood of Jesus or the Holy Virgin. More than a generation later Simon Bening was to rely on more than one idea from the Berlin Book of Hours. We do not know the name of the painter who created the great majority of the miniatures; although this excellent artist appears only in a very small number of manuscripts, he has long been known as “the Berlin Master of Mary of Burgundy”. Commentary by Eberhard König, Bodo Brinkman, Fedje Anzelewsky & Frauke Steenbock. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in red velvet, with the partially gilded sterling clasps; leather case in the style of the original. €4980   

[Boston, Public Library; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum]
Rosario de Juana la Loca, s.XVI.
Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 2004. 9 x 11 cm, 40 pp + commentary.

This facsimile reunites two parts of this codex, now divided between the US and the UK. It has 15 full-page miniatures and 15 decorated borders, all executed by Simon Bening, one of the most prestigious painters and illuminators of the time. The MS, made up of the 15 prayers that are based on the 15 mysteries of the Virgin, was commissioned by the Queen of Castile, Joanna the Mad. Limited edition of 999 copies. €2500   

[Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, 11060-61]
Die Brüsseler Stundenbuch.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1996. 18.5 x 27.5 cm, 276 pp + commentary.

This codex is another one of the treasures that belonged to the Duke of Berry, as is indicated by the presence of the ducal arms and his emblem in the borders of the book. There have been many questions regarding the artists of this codex; among the names that are brought up are André Beauneveu, a sculptor and painter from Hennegau, highly regarded by his contemporaries. He painted the minatures in the introduction of the Psalter of the Duke of Berry and was the supervisor of the Duke’s art collection. One of the outstanding features of the Brussels codex, attributed to Beauneveu, is the double page grisaille. On the other hand, the large miniatures without tracery and quite independent in style in a simple rectangle (like “windows” cut into the vellum) are possibly executed by Jacquemart, a miniaturist from the town of Hesdin in the north of France. Jacquemart symbolizes a turning point in the painting of northern Europe: he transformed the miniature into a full page independent picture, after the Italian model. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in red kidskin, with gold tooling. Commentary with contributions by Pierre Cockshaw, Bernard Bousmanne & Gerhard Schmidt.  

[Brussels, Bibl. Royale Albert I, iv 480]
Libro de horas de Alejandro VI “Papa Borgia”, s.XV.
Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 2004. 13.5 x 18.5 cm, 84 pp + commentary.

Illustrated by Gerard David, Gerard Horenbout and others, this masterpiece of Flemish art came about as a commission of Rodrigo Borgia (also known as “Papa Borgia”). The book of hours contains an enormous number of decorations in the margins: flowers, animals, fruits, architectural motifs, and vividly colored religious medallions. Limited edition of 999 copies. €4800   

[Budapest, National Széchényi Library, lat. 205]
A Flemish Book of Hours.
Budapest: Kultura International, c.1985. 6 x 9 cm, 2 vols, 91, 218 pp.

Copied in Ghent or Bruges between 1520-30. Commentary by Tünde Wehli. Full leather. [963-13-2573-3] 

[Budapest, National Széchényi Library, lat. 396]
Flemish Calendar I-II.
Budapest: Kultura International, 1985. 13 x 20 cm, 2 vols, 26, 52 pp.

Facsimile edition of a 16th-c. Flemish calendar. Commentary by Elizabeth Soltész. Hardbound. [963-13-2115-0] 

[Burgos, Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices]
Vita adelelmi (Vida de San Lesmes).
Madrid: Siloé, Arte y Bibliofilia, 2004. 28 x 37 cm, 158, 236 pp.

Deluxe full-color facsimile of a codex containing the Vita adelelmi and the official liturgy and music chants for San Lesmes, patron Saint of Burgos. As Burgos is one of the stops of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, this work nicely dovetails with Codex Calixtinus (transmitting the equivalent rite for Saint James). Commentary by Ángeles García de la Borbolla García de Paredes, Víctor Márquez Paillo, Rafael Sánchez Domingo, Clemente Serna González, & Miguel C. Vivancos Gómez. Limited edition of 230 copies bound in full leather with generous tooling and linen covered slipcase. (first added to OMI’s offerings in 2012) €2586    (more info... )

[Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 159]
The Primer of Claude de France.
Lucerne: Quaternio Verlag, 2112. 17.5 x 26 cm, 2 vols, 20 pp + commentary.

Around 1505 the French queen Anne de Bretagne commissioned a primer for Claude (1499–1524), who was her only daughter at the time and the future queen of France. The young princess was supposed to learn to read and pray with this book. Anne decided upon the list of images and commissioned the Italian-born court painter and sculptor Guido Mazzoni of Modena to realize the book. Golden architectural borders frame 36 miniatures, 12 vignettes with Christian and floral motifs, putti or mythical creatures; and 2 full-page illuminations on twenty pages. A total of 22 one, two, and three-line initials on gold ground, and golden line fillers, both ornamented with floral motifs, structure the texts of the most important Christian prayers. €1880   

[Chantilly, Bibliothèque de Musée Condé, 65]
Les très riche heures du Duc de Berry.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1984. 22 x 29 cm, 416, 436 pp.

Contains 131 miniatures lavishly decorated with painted gold, gold leaf and partly with silver. 216 pages with gold initials and over 1,800 line indications in gold. Commissioned by the Duke c.1410, completed around 1485. The artists were the Limbourg brothers and Jean Colombe. Original preserved like a national treasure in the Musée Condé in Chantilly (now inaccesible). Separate commentary volume in Ger/Eng/Fr. Limited edition of 980 copies. Lucite box.  

[Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- & Hochschulbibliothek, 70]
Stephan Lochner. Gebetbuch 1451. Handschrift 70 der Hessischen Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek Darmstadt. Kommentar von Eberhard König, mit Beitragen von Kurt Hans Staub und Beate Braun-Niehr.
Lachen am Zürichsee: Coron-Verlag, 1989. 8 x 11 cm, 2 vols, 470, 188 pp.

Commentary by Eberhard König with contributions by Kurt Hans Staub and Beate Braun-Niehr. Limited edition, bound in full leather with 2 clasps.  

[Dublin, Chester Beatty Library, Western 99]
Rosarium (Chester Beatty Library Dublin, MS Western 99).
Studies and Facsimiles of Netherlandlish Illuminated Manuscripts, 1. Amsterdam: Davaco Publishers, 1986. 8.4 x 12.4 cm, 106, 222 pp.

This MS, a little book with miscellaneous prayers, dates from the first half of the 16th c. All of its miniatures can be attributed to the last and greatest Flemish book illuminator, Simon Bening (1483-1561). The Rosarium contains 33 full-page miniatures illustrating the lives of Mary and Christ, all but one of which are executed in a consistent style, and of the extraordinarily fine quality typical of Simon’s best work. Commentary by Judith Testa. Limited edition of 1000 copies, bound in leather, with commentary in English and summary in French. €409.16 [90-7028-82202] 

[Dublin, Chester Beatty Library, Western 99]
Rosarium. Chester Beatty Library Dublin, MS Western 99.
Codices Selecti, LXXXII (= Studies and Facsimiles of Netherlandlish Illuminated Manuscripts, 1). Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1985. 8.4 x 12.4 cm, 106, 222 pp.

This MS, a little book with miscellaneous prayers, dates from the first half of the 16th c. All of its miniatures can be attributed to the last and greatest Flemish book illuminator, Simon Bening (1483-1561). The Rosarium contains 33 full-page miniatures illustrating the lives of Mary and Christ, all but one of which are executed in a consistent style, and of the extraordinarily fine quality typical of Simon’s best work. [3-201-01289-0] 

[Dublin, Irish National Library, ms. 32.513]
Von wundersamen Begebenheiten.
Stuttgart: Verlag Müller & Schindler, 2007. 7.8 x 10 cm. 80 pp + commentary.

This delicate German MS, copied in Cologne around 1460, is a marvellous picture book of the Defensorium inviolatae perpetuaequae virginitatis castissimae genetricis beatae Mariae. 37 leaves are decorated with enchanting full-page miniatures on the recto, complete with short verses of an emblematic nature in German and Latin on the verso. The work is by an unknown artist who took particular joy in this unusual text—illustrating inconceivable happenings such as birds that grow on trees, water that a virgin can carry in a sieve, as well as other better known myths like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Circe turning humans into animals, or the lion who brings his cubs to life with a roar, all that just to prove that Mary's virginity is part of a series of unbelievable but true occurences. The painter, who was probably based in Cologne, is clearly marked by the school of Stefan Lochner: Impressive interiors and atmospheric landscapes of a refreshing colorfulness are distinguishing features of his style, as is the love for details, which requires calm and patient contemplation by the viewer. Commentary by Eberhard König and Ines Dickmann. Limited edition of 800 copies, bound in green velvet (like the original), with golden embroidery; with red leather case. €1190   

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 2]
Libro de horas de Felipe II, s.XVI.
Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 1996. 21.5 x 30.5 cm, 320 pp + commentary.

Executed in the scriptorium of the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, this lovely MS was written and illuminated by the friars Andres de León, Julián de la Fuente el Saz and Martín de Palencia who were inspired by the Italian mannerist style of Giulio Clovio. Limited edition of 979 copies. €3100   

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 9]
Capitulario Felipe II. [deluxe edition].
Colección el Mundo de Felipe II, 1. Madrid: Testimonio, 1996. 23 x 33.5 cm, 324 pp + commentary.

Also known as the Prayer Book of Philip II, this luxurious large-format baroque MS consists of the customary calendar and prayer book, including additional prayers for deceased members of the king’s family. It features magnificent full-page illuminations executed by Andrés de Léon and Julián de la Fuente el Saz, both influenced by Guilio Clovio, another great miniaturist of the period. “The Burial of Our Lord” is particularly striking, and well as other pages showing beautifully constructed borders adorned with architectural, floral, animal and other motifs. Commentary by José Manuel Ruiz Ascencio. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in velet with metalwork, following the original. €6125 [84-88829-17-5] 

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 9]
Capitulario Felipe II. [standard edition].
Colección el Mundo de Felipe II, 1. Madrid: Testimonio, 1997. 23 x 33.5 cm, 324 pp + commentary.

€2975 [84-88829-17-5] 

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 10]
Libro de horas de los Zúñiga “breviario”.
Colección Carlos V, 7. Madrid: Testimonio, 2003. 19 x 56 308 pp + commentary.

This wonderful Book of Hours was commissioned by Juan de Zúñiga, member of a noble family from Castile. Unlike many of the books collected by the noble families of Castile in the 15th c. typically created in the Netherlands and Italy, this one was written and illuminated by a Spaniard from Castile. The author was obviously familiar with Flemish techniques, and also with certain French elements, but in terms of the representation of landscapes, the decoration of borders with Toledo Mudéjar techniques and the inclusion of inscriptions in imitation Arabic lettering, he clearly embraces Spanish features. The manuscript, written in Gothic script, contains 19 full-page miniatures representing the major events in the life of Christ. The frames around the illuminations are all unique, with remarkably rich color. From fol. 223 onwards, the capitals, which up to this point had only consisted of ornamental letters, begin to enclose fine vignettes, tiny complete pictures. In the calendar which begins the work each month has on the top half a reproduction of the work traditionally associated with that time of year, while on the bottom half the corresponding sign of the zodiac. Bound in full leather with generous tooling. €4700 [84-95767-34-1] 

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 12]
Liber horarum de Gerard David.
Colección Scriptorium, 14. Madrid: Testimonio, 1998-2003. 11 x 15 cm, 2 vols, 470, 204 pp.

This small Book of Hours contains 15 full-page illuminations attributed to the Flemish master Gerard David (1460-1523). The most beautiful among them is the Virgin with Child at the beginning of the manuscript which exhibits the same characteristics of altar pieces of the period. Other illuminations also resemble altar pieces but also incorporate designs of the distinguished Bruges school, such as the Master of the Dresden Book of Hours and the Master of Edward IV of England. Towards the end of the book a page bearing the date 1486 in the margin surrounding a miniature of St. Lazarus, which if trusted, allows us to identify this Book of Hours as one of the earliest examples of David’s period in Bruge which dates from 1484 onwards. Bound in full leather with generous tooling and metal clasp. €1950 [84-88829-61-2] 

[Escorial, Biblioteca del Monasterio, vitr. 13]
Libro de horas de Carlos V.
Colección Carlos V, 3. Madrid: Testimonio, 2000. 18 x 27 cm, 74 pp + commentary.

From the collection of Charles V. An unusual book of hours created especially for the occasion in 1520 of the voyage by sea of Charles I from Spain to Germany where he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. It uses an abbreviated format, featuring only three of the canonical hours: matins, for the departure from the port of Corunna, vespers, to pray for a safe journey, and compline, as preparation for building the house of God. The author of the book was Robert de Keyser of Gent and the decoration, consisting 12 masterly miniatures, mostly portraying the emperor, are attributed to his sister, Clara. There are also illuminations of biblical figures (a Solomon sitting in judgment and a Moses), and the ships themselves that carried the Spanish King (with St. James unfurling the sails, St. Nicholas at the tiller with St. Liviinus, the patron saint of Flander, as passenger). Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in full leather with generous tooling. €1550  

[Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Acquisti e Doni 147]
Libro d’ore di Vrelant: Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis secundum usum romanum.
Torino: UTET, 2005. 17.5 x 26.5 cm, 384 pp + commentary.

This MS, with its miniatures executed by the Flemish artist Willelm Vrelant, is a particularly beautiful Book of Hours from the second half of the 15th century. The voluminous codex stands out in the panorama of illuminated MSS on account of its splendid and refined cornices, all of them different and enriched with gold which makes every page a very precious one. The spectacular beauty of this work is further enhanced with 23 full-page miniatures. The Book of Hours of Vrelant was commissioned for a wedding, a custom of the time; in one of its pages we find a splendid portrait of a feminine figure praying. The commissioner of the book, and in the same place the coat of arms of the sponsor appears. Historians believe it belongs to the families of Roberto Villetaneuve and Feydeau de Brou. The MS was donated in 1806 by the Regent Maria Luiva of Spain to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana where it is conserved. The facsimile is executed in 8 to 11 colors plus gold and metallic colors. Limited edition of 530 copies bound in leather with wooden case.  

[Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, B.R. 397 & L.F. 22]
Libro d’ore Visconti.
Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2003. 20 x 27 cm. 2 vols, 302, 334 pp; 2 vols, 560 pp (commentary).

Described as a Offiziolo Visconti (or the Libro d’Ore Visconti) this Book of Hours is in 2 opulent tomes with miniatures painted at different times by two very different artists. The first, Giovannino de’ Grassi, worked with assistants on the first pages for Gian Galeazzo Visconti. This work was interrupted by the death of the duke in 1402. When Gian Galeazzo’s son, Filippo Maria, became duke in 1412 the decoration of the MS was continued by Belbello da Pavia. In the closing years of the 14th century under Gian Galeazzo, Pavia and Milan became two of the leading European centers for the production of illuminated manuscripts. At that time the Lombard school produced a series of splendid illustrated books devoted to plants, animals, medicine and the seasons. While the scribe who wrote the text of the prayer book signed his name, Frate Amadeo, the miniaturists according to the custom of the time, remained anonymous and only external evidence points to the hand Giovannino de’ Grassi as the author of the illustrations in the first part of the book. The other great miniaturist Belbello da Pavia was responsible for the remaining miniatures. Many of these belong to the early stage of Belbello’s artistic development, which evolved from a compact style, rich in detail and elaboration into the less cluttered more boldly colored style evident in the Mantuan Missal. Commentary by Milvia Bollati, Adriana Di Domenico & Giordana Mariani Canova. Limited edition of 500 copies, bound in red velvet over wood, with clasps and bands in silver.  

[Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, Ricc. 483]
Dono d’Amore. Le ore Capponi-Ridolfi.
Florence: Vallecchi, 2007. 5 x 6.6 cm. 464, 63 pp.

This beautiful MS was probably commissioned by the Capponi family for the wedding, in 1500, of Niccola di Andrea di Niccola Capponi and Antonia di Battista di Luigi Ridolfi. The Capponi and Ridolfi were aristocrats by birth and politicians by vocation, two historical families of Florence whose destinies were innumerable times interlaced with the history of the city, from medieval times until the end of the Ottocento. They belong to the group of moderate liberals summoned by Leopold II di Lorena to administer the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It seems that the book, according to the style of the decorations, was created during the last decade of the 15th century, a belief that refutes a previous one that gave a date around 1462 and which was linked to the wedding of Caterina di Niccola Capponi e Tommaso di Luigi Ridolfi. The mature and advanced style of the miniatures does not seem to concord with the earlier date. It is one of the smallest prayer books that has come down to the present day, only a few centimeters each side and yet of exquisite workmanship. An extreme synthesis of an art by then at its dusk, as was the miniature in the late 15th century, this manuscript was commissioned to Monte di Giovanni, one of the greatest Florentine masters of the time. In special parchment paper, on which hot tooled gold has been applied, using the reverse procedure compared to typographical printing to give it all of the worn and vibrant naturalness of the backgrounds and the very subtle design of the highlights. Entirely bound and sewn by hand and lined in velvet like the original while the cut of the pages has gilt embossing, following the original. It comes in an elegant case with tooled silver and a commentary by Giovanna Lazzi, director of the Biblioteca Riccardiana of Florence. Limited edition of 483 copies bound in red velet. €1700  [88-8427-022-7]  (more info... )

[Hannover, Kestner Museum, Inv. WM ü 22]
Andacht- und Gebetbuch. Farbmikrofiche-Edition der Handschrift Hannover, Kestner-Museum, Inv. WM ü 22. Kunsthistorische Einführung von Hans-Walter Stork. Beschreibung des Bild-Text-Zyklus von Helga Lengenfelder.
Codices Illuminati Medii Aevi, 46. Munich: Edition Helga Lengenfelder, 1998. 17 x 25 cm, 54 pp, 3 fiches.

Cologne, St Klara's (?), c.1330. Vellum, 64 fols. The small manuscript comprises 51 full-page miniatures with golden backgrounds, 33 text divisions in Ripuarian dialect that are marked by red and blue initials. The pictures are facing a script page or a blank page. This unique and unequalled picture cycle begins with the prefatory sequence of 9 scenes from the Life of the Virgin. For the Life of Christ sequences are dedicated to Infancy, to His Adult Life and His Miracles, to His Passion, and Resurrection and After-Life; the picture cycle ends with three presentations of the Trinity (Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity). The symbolic language of images is impressive: the metaphysical light (golden backgrounds, shining nimbi), the forms of composition (tri-angular lines, cross), the three-fold repeated scenes of slightly varying actions. The text passages are systematically composed, all beginning with a formal praise of God and His mercy, or, in the second part, a prayer to Christ for redemption. In the first part pictures and texts concentrateg on the Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism and Last Supper, in the second part on the Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Penance and Redemption. The contemplative and meditative role of the predominant pictures and the vernacular explanations was intended perhaps to rekindle the sense of (female) emotional participation in the events of the Passion as well as to introduce spiritually to liturgical performance and sacramental symbols. Linen. €245 [3-89219-046-1]  (more info... )

[Hildesheim, Dombibliothek, Hs. 728]
Codex rotundus.
Codices Selecti, CXIX. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2012. Round, 10 cm, 2 vols, 532, 137 pp.

Deluxe full-color facsimile of a manuscript book of hours produced in Bruges, ca. 1475-1480. The manuscript is circular in shape, and contains 3 full-page miniatures and 30 historiated initials. It was first owned by Duke Adolph III of Cleves. Issued in full gilt leather with 3 brass clasps; housed in a plexiglas box. Commentary by Bodo Brickmann. Limited numbered edition of 480 numbered copies. €2980  

[Istanbul, Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi]
Missale hervoiae ducis spalatensis croatico-glagoliticum (Topkapi Sarayi, Istanbul).
Codices Selecti, XXXIV. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1973. 23 x 30.6 cm, 494, 566 pp.

€2400 [3-201-00830-3] 

[Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibl., Durlach 2]
Das deutsche Gebetbuch der Markgräfin von Brandenburg.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2002. 10.8 x 15.2 cm, 378 pp + commentary.

This prayer book, an example from the heyday of late gothic illumination from southern Germany, was produced in Augsburg in 1520. It was commissioned by Kasimir Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Susanna of Bavaria on the occasion of their marriage celebrations. It is most likely that Susanna comissioned the artist Narziss Renner with illuminating her prayer book. Renner, who at that time was only 18 years old, had already displayed a richness in ideas and naturalness. The use of well known models was then widespread and some of the miniatures in the princess' book can be traced back to works of Burkmair and Cranach. Furthermore, Renner's great affinity with the works of the wood sculptor Albrecht Altdorfer can be seen clearly; he had studied this master of the Danube School to such a degree that on occasions he outdid him in his dramatic reproduction of nature. The MS, a festive fireworks display of gold and color, captures the eye not only by its extravagant richness of color and design but by an abundance of endearing details taken from the private living circumstances of Susanna. Another special feature of this charming MS is the simultaneous use of different kinds of borders; a total of 214 pictures and text pages are framed by Flemish, Italian or German-inspired borders. Commentary by Ulrich Merkel and Ute Obhof; transcriptions by Michaela Neidl. Limited edition of 980 copies, gilt edges, bound in black velour leather with four ornamental buttons and a medallion laid in silver. €3800   

[Leningrad, Saltykow-Schtschedrin Library, O.V.I.N. 126]
Das Stundenbuch Ludwigs von Orléans. Faksimile des Codex lat. O.V.I.N. 126 aus der Handschriftenabteilung der Saltykow-Schtschedrin-Bibliothek Leningrad.
Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1980. 15 x 21 cm, 240, 224 pp.

Commentary by R. Behrends. Limited edition of 1000 copies, bound in pigs leather.  

[Lisbon, Academia das Ciências, MS azul n° 1813]
Libro de horas da Condessa Bertiandos.
A Coruña: Xuntanza Editorial, 2004. 24 x 33.2 cm, 2 vols, 236 pp + commentary.

This Book of Hours is one of the most beautiful examples of medieval art, written in Latin, in 2 columns, with gothic rotunda and semigothic handwriting. Dated 1515-1530, it is believed to have been a wedding gift to D. Duarte, son of King D. Manuel. The calligrapher is unknown; art historians attribute the illuminations to Antonio de Holanda. This artist was probably in the Low countries ca.1480 where he received his training in the workshop of Alexander Bening. At the end of the century he went to Portugal where he began his career at the court of D. Manuel between 1495 and 1521. After the death of the King he worked for D. Joao III until his death in 1557. Customs, traditions and dresses are displayed in great detail. Besides the representations of laic character the religious iconography is very important, it represents the culmination of religious artistic illumination in the Low Medieval Period and the beginning of the modern period. Limited edition of 999 copies, bound in full leather. €1450   

[Lisbon, Fundaçāo Calouste Gulbenkian, inv. L.A. 135]
Gulbenkian-Stundenbuch (Libro de horas Gulbenkian).
Madrid: Ayn Ediciones, 2007. 170 x 254 cm, 364 pp + commentary.

Fouquet (1420-1481), born in Tours, is considered one of the great painters at the beginning of the Renaissance and the renovator of 15th-c. painting. He was formed in the French tradition of the international gothic and developed a new style which integrated the strong chromatic tonalities of the gothic with the perspective and volume of the Italian school as well as the naturalistic innovations of the Flemish school. He is a master painter who not only reunited Fra Angelico’s influence of volume with the French rectilinear style but united the biblical history with the history of France. This is especially shown in the images of the Epiphany where the French king is seen emulating Gaspar in the Adoration scene and the French army at the service of Christianity. The whole page miniatures are typical of Fouquet where the ornamentation is eliminated and the image occupies the whole page making it a real painting. The influence of Fra Angelico is seen clearly in the miniatures of the Annunciation and Crucifixion with very high crosses which separate the crucified from their companions and emphasize the death of Christ. Commentary by Eberhard König. Limited edition of 995 copies. €3888   

[Lisbon, Fundaçāo Calouste Gulbenkian, inv. L.A. 149; Zagreb, Strossmajerova Galerija, S.G. 339-352]
Libro d’ore di Alfonso d’Este. Offiziolo Alfonso.
Ars Illuminandi. Modena: Il Bulino, 2003. 26 x 38 cm, 2 vols, 358, 258 pp.

This beautiful book of hours, also known as the “Offiziolo Alfonso”, was created by Matteo da Milano between 1505 and 1510 on the commission of Duke Alfonso I. Considered the really last extraordinary work of Ferrarese illumination, it includes 29 full-page illuminations, numerous decorated borders, coat of arms and initials. The codex belonged to the Modena library until 1859 when it was taken by the Estense—along with the Bible of Borso and Breviary of Ercole d’Este—and conserved as the patrimony of the House of Austria-d’Este in exile in Vienna. 14 illuminations became subsequently detached (now kept in Zagreb) and the main body of the manuscript was bought by the Armenian collector Gulbenkian; this facsimile now reunites the two parts of this important manuscript. Commentary by Ernesto Milano and Manuela Fidalgo. Limited edition of 999 copies bound in full leather, with leather box. €3900 [88-86251-50-5] 

[Lisboa, National Library, Illum. 42]
Libro de horas de Rouen. Devocionario mariano del s. XV.
Colección Scriptorium, 11. Madrid: Testimonio, 1997. 15 x 21 cm, 2 vols, 146, 65 pp.

This 15th-c. Marian Book of Hours—recently attributed to the Master of the Rouen Echevinage—bears all the characteristics of the golden age of French book painting, as is shown in its masterly execution of the landscapes and perspectives, the light and color of the draperies with details highlighted in gold, and gold backgrounds of the borders. The rich decoration of the margins includes not only foliage—some stylized, some naturalistic—but also a variety of fruits and flowers, animal and human figures, with an obvious flair for nature. The lower parts of the calendar pages, typical of many 15th-c. books of hours, depict country scenes and activities appropriate to the corresponding months. Commentary by Marin Cortereal de Alburquerque. Bound in full leather with sumptuous tooling and two metal clasps. €1550 [84-88829-9] 

[London, British Library, Add. Ms. 18850]
Bedford Hours.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2007. 21 x 27 cm, 330 pp + commentary.

The Bedford Hours represent an invaluable example of aristocratic bibliophily in the history of illumination. One of the richest Book of Hours ever to have left an illuminator's workshop—every page is illustrated—it became famous all over the world. The book contains an overwhelming abundance of biblical scenes, decorated with 1250 elaborate medallions, 38 large-format miniatures, finely executed in gold leaf, brush gold and frequently also with silver. Miniatures from the Bedford Hours, such as the Ark of Noah or the Creation, are among the most frequently represented examples of the creativity which marked the first decades of the 15th century. The same period also gave birth to such wonderful works as the Master of Game of Gaston Pheobus and the Belles Heures of the Duke of Berry. It was the pinnacle of Gothic illumination, with new ideas of Flemish realism already visible on the horizon. Although the artist of the Bedford Hours was among the leading and most prolific painters of his day, his identity has sadly remained a mystery. His nickname goes back to the Duke of England who has long been thought to have commissioned the work: John of Lancaster (1389-1435), Duke of Bedford and younger brother of the English king Henry V. The illuminator of the this Book of Hours thus entered art history under the title of Bedford Master, a name synonymous with high quality painting and luxurious opulence in books. Commentary by Eberhard König. Binding in red velvet with gilded clasps. sFr18400    (more info... )

[London, British Library, Add. ms. 18851]
Breviario de Isabel la Católica.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 2010. 16 x 23 cm, 1046 pp + commentary.

The Isabella Breviary is one of the most highly prized treasures of the British Library. The Breviary was conceived of as the most luxurious Flemish breviary; six masters worked on this codex and the originality and impact of its miniatures make it a unique work. A breviary has more texts than a book of hours, thus offering the illuminators a wider range of themes, more artistic license and therefore a great image variety. The main painter of the Breviary is the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook, an artist remarkable for the narrative expressiveness of his images and his ability to breath life and movement into his scenes. His skillful portrayal of gestures and facial expressions, underlining the main action of each episode is astounding. Gerard Horenbout, also known as the Master of James IV of Scotland, is the second greatest illuminator of the Breviary. He was the first Flemish illuminator to incorporate elements characteristic of the Renaissance into his miniatures. His brilliant use of color and masterful representation of textures and fabrics are dazzling. Some of the most important miniatures in the codex are the magnificient work of Gerard David. The exhuberant marginal decorations in the Breviary deserve special mention. The MS was given to Isabella the Catholic to commemorate the double marriage of her children, John and Joanna, to the children of the Emperor Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy, Margaret and Philip. The Breviary is of great historical importance not only for its artistic context but because it reflects the great political unrest of late 15th-c. Europe, a time when royal marriages meant international political alliances and territorial expansion. Limited numbered edition of 987 copies, bound in embossed leather.  

[London, British Library, Add. ms. 24098]
Libro de horas – Libro del Golf.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 2004. 8.4 x 11.5 cm, 60 pp + commentary.

Simon Bening created this magnificent book of hours around 1530. For whom it was intended is unknown. The book has attracted lots of attention with its scenes of sports & free-time activities common during that time, including one with golf, which gives the book its name. Besides the marginal scenes the illuminations of the calendar are characteristic of 16th-century life, both in work and free time. Commentary by Carlos Miranda. [84-88526-92-X]  (more info... )

[London, British Library, Add. 34294, parts I-IV]
The Sforza Hours. Add. Ms. 34294 of the British Library, London. Vol.1-4. Introduction by Mark L. Evans. [standard edition]
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1993-95. 10 x 14 cm, 700 pp (4 vols), 860.

This Book of Hours, commissioned by Duchess Bona, wife of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, was illuminated by Birago and Horenbout. Birago was a master at depicting the workings of the psyche. Faces reflect their owners’ souls; the Renaissance lays moods and emotions bare. Leonardo, also working at the Sforza Court at this time, may have had a hand in the creation of the work too. In the composition of landscapes which often feature cliffs and rocky outcrops, Birago appears to be influenced by Andrea Mantegna. The MS is a feast of color. Its spectacular palette and richly decorated illustrations are unusual, even for an epoch in which color played such an important role. When the book was stolen in the 15th c. before its completion, Birago’s estimate of its value at 500 ducats was five times higher than Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks”. Limited edition of 980 copies, with gilt edges. Binding in red velvet with clasps in 925 solid sterling silver, after the original. Velvet case. €7980   

[London, British Library, Add. 34294, part I]
The Sforza Hours. Add. Ms. 34294 of the British Library, London. Vol.1.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1993. 10 x 14 cm, 80 pp.


[London, British Library, Add. 34294, part II]
The Sforza Hours. Add. Ms. 34294 of the British Library, London. Vol.2.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1994. 10 x 14 cm, 252 pp.


[London, British Library, Add. 34294, part III]
The Sforza Hours. Add. Ms. 34294 of the British Library, London. Vol.3.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2002. 10 x 14 cm, 168 pp.


[London, British Library, Add. 34294, part IV]
The Sforza Hours. Add. Ms. 34294 of the British Library, London. Vol.4.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2002. 10 x 14 cm, 186 pp.


[London, British Library, Add. ms. 35313]
Libro de horas de Juana I de Castilla, Juana la Loca.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 2004. 16.3 x 23.7 cm, 484 pp + commentary.

This exceptional prayerbook, consisting of 482 illustrated pages with 75 full-page illuminations, was executed in Flanders around 1500 by the great miniaturist Gerard Horenbout. Limited edition of 987 copies bound in brown leather with gold tooling, in leather case. [84-96400-14-X] 

[London, British Library, Yates Thompson ms. 29]
Libro d’ore di Bonaparte Ghislieri.
Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2007. 14.5 x 20.7 cm. 274 pp + commentary.

This highly sophisticated Book of Hours was produced in 1503 at the behest of Bonaparte Ghislieri, a member of an important Bolognese family. In commissioning this codex Ghislieri wanted to bring together several of the most famous artists of the period, each one of whom was called upon to create a full-page miniature. The intention was to offer the best miniature anthology that the Bologna school of illumination could produce in those years. Thus we see a succession of works by the likes of Amico Aspertini with his Adoration of the Shepherds, Perugino with his Saint Sebastian, Costa with King David and his Lyre, Francia with his Saint Jerome and, probably, Matteo da Milano, to whom the Annunciation is attributed. The admirable decoration forming the borders of the miniatures should also be mentioned, abounding in classical references, with several clear borrowings from the decoration of the Domus Aurea. Bologna was also the home of the scribe, Pierantonio Sallando, who taught grammar at the University of Bologna and was to become a famous professor of writing. The codex passed from the Ghislieris to the Albani family of Urbino, where it is documented in the 18th century; the following century it reached England, where it was purchased by Henry Yates Thompson in 1897. Since 1941 it has been kept in the British Library. Limited numbered edition of 980 copies, bound in kidskin featuring gold embossing applied dry and corner guards and clasps in solid silver. €8800   

[Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, res. 51]
Evangeliario de Carlos de Angulema / Prayer Book of Charles of Angoulême.
Salamanca: CM Editores, 2010. 16 x 23 cm, 336 pp + commentary.

Illuminated gospel book commissioned by Claude de France and King Francis I of France. Commentary by Josefina Planas. Limited bibliophile edition of 375 copies bound in goatskin with gold stamping. €4320   

[Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, vitr. 24-1]
Libro de horas de Carlos VIII, Rey de Francia.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 1995. 16.9 x 24.8 cm, 232, 431 pp.

The main and virtually the only miniaturist in the Book of Hours of Charles VIII is the Master of Jacques de Besançon. This beautiful book of hours is lavishly decorated with more than 200 marginal borders showing palm trees, fruits and flowers entwined upon gold grounds. The margins feature some 190 small miniatures interwoven with motifs from the Old and New Testaments, the Life of the Virgin and, occasionally, war scenes. Commentary by Ana Domínguez Rodríguez. Limited edition of 987 copies. [84-88526-08-3] 

[Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, vitr. 24-2]
Libro de horas de Leonor de la Vega.
Madrid: Club Bibliófilo Versol, 2000. 14 x 20 cm, 406, 159 pp.

Commentary by Juana Hidalgo Ogáyar. Deluxe facsimile edition of 500 copies, bound in full leather. €3480   

[Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, vitr. 24-3]
Libro de horas de Carlos V.
Madrid: Club Bibliófilo Versol, 1999. 16 x 24 cm, 347, 248 pp.

Commentary by Anna Muntada Torrellas and Elisa Verela Rodríguez. Deluxe edition of 500 copies, bound in full leather. €4700   

[Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, vitr. 25-3]
Libro de horas de los retablos.
Barcelona: Liber Millennium, 2005. 16 x 23 cm, 400 pp + commentary.

Also known as the Missal of Fernández de Córdoba, this MS is a magnificent example of a Book of Hours in the Roman tradition. Such books in general fell under such suspicion that they ended up being banned by the Inquisition. This edition is a paradigmatic case: the codex, property at the time it was created of a person called Teresa, was censored and thus appears expurgated, precisely in one of the most popular prayers to Mary. The crossed-out text is a historical document that bears irrefutable witness to the dangers inherent in dogmatism and intolerance. Such testimonial proof would be worthy of publication itself, but this volume is also a work of art. It is made of the finest vellum and highly refined pigments; its traditional techniques are excellent and its decoration and illustrations are exquisite. The MS is a clear exponent of the finest international style of the 15th c. The originality of the miniatures in the form of altarpieces is a special feature of this book, which contains hundreds of ornamental designs within the pages of text, such as butterflies, birds, dragons, putti, and the like. Equally beautiful is its current binding in repoussé leather, inlaid with gold and cobalt. Limited edition of 550 copies. €4550   

[Madrid, Bibl. Nacional, vitr. 25-5; Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Philadelphia Museum of Art]
Libro de horas de los reyes Católicos.
Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 2009. 11 x 15 cm, 650 pp + commentary.

This codex, also known as Voustre Demeure, appears to have been presented to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain by the Emperor Maximilian, on the occasion of the double marriage of their children, Margaret and Philip, to the Spanish rulers’ offspring, John and Joan. The facsimile edition represents the restoration of the book’s original composition, bringing together folios currently found in the collections of the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, the Staatliche Museen, Berlin and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The MS consists of 650 pages, every one illustrated and illuminated in gold and silver by master Flemish painters. Altogether there are 87 large-format miniatures and 583 pages embellished with quarter-page decorations in which a variety of animals, plants and insects are represented. Stylistically the work points to the master credited with the Book of Hours of Marie of Burgundy, the master of the Dresden prayer book, Lieven van Lathem, Nicolas Spierinc and Simon Marmion, praised for their mastery of trompe-l’oeil effects in the ornamental borders of the books they illuminated, a lavish hand with decorative elements and the large number of extremely sophisticated iconographic resources they brought to their tasks. All of these aspects make this book of hours one of the most significant works of art produced during the waning of the Middle Ages. Commentary by Eberhard König. €7500    (more info... )

[Madrid, Biblioteca del Palacio Real, w/o sign]
Libro de horas de Isabel la Católica (Madrid, Bibl. del Palacio). [deluxe edition].
Colección Scriptorium, 1. Madrid: Testimonio, 1992. 14 x 20 cm, 730 pp + commentary.

This magnificent Book of Hours dating from the 15th c. is attributed to William Vreland, a Dutch master craftsman born in Utrecht and active in Bruges. It was a gift of Juana Enríquez, mother of King Ferdinand, to her daughter-in-law Queen Isabella. The codex is written in Gothic script in red and black ink and contains a total of 3,487 miniatures of which 72 are full page, and 59 illustrate the main and secondary texts arranged into 10 headings: calendar, extracts from the four Gospels, Hours of the Holy Ghost, Mass & Hours of Our Lady, Hours of the Passion of Christ, Office of the Dead, Penitential Psalms, & various prayers and Intercession of the Saints. Other miniatures accompany additional themes and there is an abundance of borders with acanthus leaves, flowers, fruits, birds, animals, etc. The book is a masterpiece of Netherlandish book art with its wealth of detail. A predominant feature is the use of perspective, clearly influenced by the Siena school of the trecento. Many figures are seen within architectural frameworks, a common feature of French miniatures of the time of the Duke of Berry. These backgrounds play an important part in the work, and—whether landscapes or abstract compositions—are very elaborate. Commentary by Ana Domínguez Rodríguez. Limited edition of 980 copies, in eleven-color offset, bound in blue leather with gold-plated metalwork and enamelled Coat of Arms duplicating the original. €6200 [84-86290-32-5] 

[Madrid, Biblioteca del Palacio Real, w/o sign]
Libro de horas de Isabel la Católica (Madrid, Bibl. del Palacio). [standard edition, without metal work].
Colección Scriptorium, 1. Madrid: Testimonio, 1992. 14 x 20 cm, 730 pp + commentary.

€5250 [84-86290-32-5] 

[Madrid, Biblioteca del Instituto de Valencia de Don Juan Guarda, 26-III-41]
Libro de horas de Doña Mencia de Mendoza.
Colección Scriptorium, 19. Madrid: Testimonio, 2002. 6 x 8.5 cm, 2 vols, 404, 117 pp.

This very small Book of Hours—measuring 6 x 8.5 cm—ordered by Doña Mencia de Mondoza presents 17 full-page miniatures with their corresponding prayers. Limited edition, bound in full leather (decorated in the middle with a heart from which rays arise); with deluxe wooden box covered with red velvet and fitted with silver plated clasps. €2175 [84-95767-24-4] 

[Madrid, Lázaro Galdiano Fundación, Ms 13312]
Book of Hours of Lorenzo de Medici the Younger.
Colección Scriptorium, 3. Madrid: Testimonio, 1994. 4 x 6 cm, 2 vols, 332, 266 pp.

This fantastic book of hours, in miniature 4 x 6 cm format, is believed to have been commissioned by Pope Leo X as a wedding present for his nephew Lorenzo II and Magdalena of Tour in 1518. The book was created in Florence, possibly by Boccardino the Elder, Boccardino the Younger and Stefano di Tommaso (Florentine Miniature School), and contains 11 miniatures and 16 pages with ornamental borders. Among the highlights of the work is the architectural perspective achieved in the miniature of the the Annunication and the vista of the city of Florence in which the dome of the Duomo can be seen. The borders are decorated with the famous “Candelieri”, jewels and other delightful images as well as animals of a clearly Flemish influence. Commentary by Juana Hidalgo Ogayar. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in leather with silver metalwork, after the original. €975 [84-86290-95-3]  (more info... )

[Madrid, Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, ms. 15452]
Libro de horas de la Virgen Tejedora.
Barcelona: Liber Millennium, 2002. 15.3 x 20.5 cm. 357 pp + commentary.

This MS, with its classical perfection, is a beautiful exponent of 15th-c. French style, representing a culmination in the technique of book making. Its creators show a complete mastery and control in the decorative forms, the iconographic program, the layout of the page and the tracing of the writing. A perfect visual balance is seen at a glance. The texts of this work are those that enjoyed the preference of that time before an excessive piety and dramatic effects reached the borders of supertition. The lack of heavy ornamentation in the page margins, the beautiful serenity of the miniatures and the elegant details make this book of hours an example of the French style at the height of its perfection. Commentary by Letizia Arbeteta Mira, Elisa Ruiz García & Juan Antonio Yeves Andrés. Limited edition of 995 copies bound in full leather. €3990   

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 22 (=alfa K.7.2)]
Officium beatae mariae virginis - Il libro d’ore di Barbara d’Austria.
Castel San Pietro: Trident Editore, 2007. 12 x 17 cm. 332 pp + commentary.

This beautiful richly illuminated Book of Hours from the 16th-c. with 17 large format minatures and 328 highly decorated pages was probably executed by a student of the French master Jean Bourdichon. It has the sigla "A.E.I.O.U"—Austria est imperare orbi universo—the motto of the Austrian House introduced by Federico III and the initials "P.K." which might stand for Philippus Karolus, the monogram of Filippo the Beautiful of Austria united to that of his son Carlo V. There are 2 full-page miniatures with gold frame introducing the Office of the Virgin and Penitentiary Psalms. The borders show a naturalic vegetation with red and imaginary animals, putti, musical angels and anthropomorphic figures. This fauna, derived from the repertoire of the late-gothic French illuminatiors, has precise symbolic meanings. The fantastic and montrous creatures personify the diabolic; butterflies and birds are frequently found, the first one as a symbol of the soul which raises from a terrestial plane to a celestial one. The crane, like all animals of long neck and beak, is related to malignant creatures. All the other miniatures are in an arch-formed window with gold borders. The MS was part of the endowment of Barbara d'Austria, Archduchess of Austria, daugther of Emperor Ferdinand I (brother of Carlo V) and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. In 1565 she married Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. After an earthquake in 1570/1571 Barbara d'Austria dedicated her efforts and personal resources to help the orphans of the “Conservatorio delle orfane di Sto. Barbara”. She died of tuberculosis in 1572 at the age of 33. Limited edition of 300 copies bound in velvet after the original. €3200   

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 74 (=alfa Q.9.31)]
Officium beatae mariae virginis del Cardinale Ippolito I d’Este.
Castel San Pietro: Trident Editore, 2008. 14 x 24 cm. 278 pp + commentary.

It is believed that this refined 15th-c. MS with 12 large-format miniatures and 146 decorated initials and written in archaic Latin belonged to the Cardinal Ippolito I d'Este. The Cardinal was born in 1479, the son of the Duke of Modena & Ferrara and Princess Eleonora of Aragon. He had a meteoric ecclesiastical career becoming a Cardinal at the age of 14 and Archbishop of Milan at 18. The wedding of his brother Alfonso I with Lucrecia Borgia in 1501 gave him the title of Arciprete di S. Pietro which allowed him to reside in Rome. Pope Pio III named him Bishop of Ferrara. The Cardinal, Mecenate of Lodovico Ariosto, died in Ferrara in 1520. The miniatures of the MS, following the style of the Lombard School, are presented inside a gold frame bordered with red, blue or red and blue. They show Saints with long hair and episodes of the life of the Virgin or Jesus. Its beautiful initials have been executed in gold with decortive flowers. Limited edition of 300 copies bound in full leather after the original. €2500   

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 136 (=alfa U.6.7)]
Libro di devozione di Alberto di Brandeburgo. Est.136=alpha U.6.7.
Ars Illuminandi. Modena: Il Bulino, 1997. 26 x 38 cm, 256, 160 pp.

This masterpiece of German book illumination, also known as the “Glockendon Prayerbook” after its illuminator Nikolaus Glockendon, was commissioned by the cardinal Albert of Brandenburg, prince elector of Mainz and a primate of the catholic church in Germany at the time of the Lutheran Reformation. It features 42 full-page illuminations, each divided into two parts: one, of smaller format, a scene from the life and Passion of Christ, is superimposed in the middle on a larger scene depicting the Old Testament. Each illuminated page carries the monogram “NG” of the artist. Glockendon, from a family of painters from Nuremberg, was clearly influenced by Albrecht Dürer and Simon Bening. The German text is in cursive Gothic script, enclosed in a red line box decorated with friezes executed by Georg Stierlein. The subject matter and types of devotion found in this book of hours link it to the school of German humanism associated with Erasmus from Rotterdam, advocate of a new intimate religiousness. Commentary (in Italian) by Ernesto Milano, Daniele Bini, Leandro Ventura, & Giancarlo Malacarne. Limited edition of 999 copies. Bound with full leather with generous tooling, with clamshell case in laid paper. [88-86251-24-6] 

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 614 (= alfa U.2.28)]
“Les petites prières” de Renée de France. Lat.614=alpha.U.2.28 Biblioteca Estense Universitaria.
Ars Illuminandi. Modena: Il Bulino, 1998. 9 x 12 cm, 48, 159 pp.

This lovely Book of Hours, written and illuminated in the environs of Paris during the 1520s or 1530s for Renée de Valois, daughter of the king of France, Louis XII, came to Ferrara as part of her dowry when she married Ercole II d’Este in 1528, becoming the duchess of Ferrara. The prayers contained in this book of hours are strictly catholic, and this may explain why the codex survived the destruction of her books, ordered by the inquisitors in 1560, for Renée openly supported Reformed teachings and sheltered Huguenots and Calvinists. After her husband’s death, the duchess left Ferrara to retire to her French castle at Montargis. Renée's "Petites prieres" form one of the most refined examples of prayer collections for personal use: 12 pages are entirely illuminated and decorated with colored and gilt friezes, within which the text, including 112 gilted illuminated initials, was written. This facsimile edition is now the only historical testament that we possess, as the codex was stolen in 1994 and is still missing. Commentary (in Italian) by Ernesto Milano. Limited edition of 999 copies, bound in velvet and hand embroidered with silver threads; leather-covered box. [88-86251-28-9] 

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 842 (=alfa R.7.3)]
Libro d’ore del Maestro di Modena. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.
Ars Illuminandi. Modena: Il Bulino, 2006. 15 x 21 cm, 544 pp + commentary.

The Lombard MS, dated 1390 and illuminated by the Master of Modena Hours (who takes his name from this exemplary codex), comes from the rich collection of the Marquis Obizzi del Catajo and has belonged to the Estense library since 1817. It features 28 full-page illuminations, of which 15 have vegetation patterned borders and 21 have illustrated initial letters. The text, with indexed headings, is in rounded Gothic script. As is typical of prayerbooks, the first part begins with the calendar, followed by the texts of the prayers, accompanied by splendid illuminations representing important moments in the lives of the Blessed Virgin and Jesus and pictures of the saints. The codex is known as one of the masterpieces of Lombardian illuminated manuscripts and among those of the golden period of the International Gothic. The Master of the Hours Book of Modena has been traced to the workshop of Giovannino de Grassi, author of other wonderful codices for the Visconti court. Despite obvious references of this codex to the main school, the Master of the Hours Book of Modena reveals his own originality in his brush technique and background decorations, in his surprising elegance of line, and in the lovely gentleness of the feminine figures. Of considerable importance is the beautiful and sumptuous 16th c. pink silk binding with embroidered decorative borders along the spine and on the sides, in gold, silver and coloured silk thread. A framed bust of the Virgin Mary is embroidered on the front cover in the center, while the coat-of-arms of the presumed owner is embroidered in the center on the back. Limited edition of 499 copies, bound in silk with colored embroidery, after the original. Special transparent case. €7200 [88-86251-65-3]  (more info... )

[Modena, Bibl. Estense Univ., lat. 842 (=alfa R.7.3)]
Libro d’ore del Maestro di Modena. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.
Ars Illuminandi. Modena: Il Bulino, 2006. 15 x 21 cm, 544 pp + commentary.

(same as above but with plexiglass slipcase) €4800 [88-86251-65-3]  (more info... )

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 935]
Hildegard-Gebetbuch. Codex latinus monacensis 935 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München. Farbiges Vollfaksimile. Begleitband mit Beiträgen von Gerard Achten, Hermann Hauke, Elisabeth Klemm und Karin Schneider.
Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1982/ 1987. 8º, 2 vols, 152, 290 pp.

€950  [3-88226-116-1] 

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 17401]
Das Matutinalbuch aus Scheyern. Faksimile der Bildseiten aus dem Codex Latinus Monacencis 17401 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München. Kommentar: Hermann Hauke und Renate Kroos. [deluxe edition].
Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1980. 45 x 60 cm, 25, 108 pp.

Special bibliophile edition (1-100) with vellum case. €998  [3-88226-093-9] 

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 17401]
Das Matutinalbuch aus Scheyern. Faksimile der Bildseiten aus dem Codex Latinus Monacencis 17401 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München. Kommentar: Hermann Hauke und Renate Kroos. [standard edition].
Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1980. 45 x 60 cm, 25, 108 pp.

€800  [3-88226-094-7] 

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 23637]
Simon Bening: Das Blumen-Stundenbuch / Le livre d’heures aux fleurs. [standard edition]
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1991. 11.2 x 16.5 cm, 438 pp + commentary.

Already during his lifetime Simon Bening achieved great fame for his Books of Hours which were treasured all over Europe; by 1530 he was recognized as one of the best artists in this genre. It is at this time that the “Flower Book of Hours” was commissioned. Bening’s magnificent work features an incredible variety of illuminations: 1,399 ornamented initials, 1,320 flowers, 78 birds, and different types of butterflies, snails and insects. Its richness of decoration is hardly found—before or after—in any other Book of Hours. Commentary by Eberhard König and Bodo Brinkmann. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in velvet.  

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 23638]
Simon Bening’s Flemish Calendar.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1988. 10 x 14 cm, 60, 484 pp.

Printed in 10 colors including gold and silver. This delightful book of hours by the greatest illuminator of the time, Simon Bening (Bruges) was commissioned by an unknown aristocratic personality. Commentary volume in Ger-Fr-Eng. Limited edition of 980 copies, gilt edges, bound in purple velvet with 12 rosettes, & corners and clasps in 925 solid sterling silver, after the original; lucite box.  

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 23639]
Das Gebetbuch Lorenzos de Medici 1585. Faksimile-Edition der Handschrift clm 23639 der Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.
Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 1991. 10.8 x 17 cm, 2 vols, 456, 200 pp.

This magnificent Book of Hours was commissioned by Lorenzo de Medici (1449-1492). The book was formerly believed to be the product of the House of Bavaria, based on the presence of the Bavarian Coat of Arms, however, this has recently been shown to be a later addition. Typical of its genre, the MS begins with a calendar; in the tradition of the luxurious prayer book, miniatures illustrate here the different activities of the months. The prayers, psalms and hymns are also the traditional ones from the Office and the canonic hours. The text, written in a precise, careful and elegant hand, is the work of Antonio Sinibaldi, one of the most famous scribes of the early Italian Renaissance. The fine calendar paintings, 10 full-page miniatures, 7 scenic initials, etc. have been attributed to Francesco d’Antonio del Cherico. Commentary by Erwin Arnold, Mark Evans & Lorenz Seelig. Limited edition of 500 copies, bound in velour, with gold plated enameled medallion on the cover. Clam shell linen case.  

[Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 23640]
Das Gebetbuch Kurfürst Maximilians I. von Bayern. Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe der Handschrift Clm 23640 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek.
Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 1987. 286 pp.


[Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, Ms. I.B.51
La flora: Horae beatae mariae virginis.
Torino: UTET, 2008. 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 736 pp + commentary.

This splendid Book of Hours from the 15th century was dedicated to Charles VIII, king of France (1483-1498) who probably had it among his possessions. The MS is richly ornamented, with a marvelous variety of decorative elements, flowers for the major part. The facsimile, a very high quality one, displays faithfully all the variety of colors and perfection of the designs. “La Flora” shows 28 miniatures, in large format, the work of a French master but the codex, in its global and organic context, belongs to the Flemish School of Ghent and Bruges, by which, together with the famous Breviario Grimani, are part of its major works. The name “Flora” (original title: Horae beatae mariae virginis) has been attributed to scholars of this MS for the outstanding richness and variety of the floral elements. The original is preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli and the facsimile has been made possible by the sponsorship of the Minister of Cultural Treasures. Limited edition of 664 copies bound in leather, in wooden box.  

[New York, Metropolitan Museum, Cloisters, Acc. no. 54.1.1]
The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry Prince of France. With An Introduction by James J. Rorimer. At The Cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. 17 x 25 cm, 19, 32 pp.

Full-color facsimile of 33 selected pages from the original. This c.1420 book ranks among the great masterpieces of the Middle Ages. Commentary by Margaret B. Freeman. Printed in France. Slipcase. $65   

[New York, Metropolitan Museum, Cloisters, Acc. no. 54.1.1]
Belles heures du Duc de Berry.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2003. 17 x 25 cm, 448 pp + commentary.

The library of the Duke of Berry was legendary; it had close to 300 MSS which were not only of great variety but, in their majority, outstanding in their quality and rich decoration. For his most personal Book of Hours, the "Belles Heures", the Duke engaged the most famous book painters of the time: Pol, Herman and Jehanequin Limbourg. The Limbourg brothers were born in the last quarter of the 14th c., the sons of a woodcarver. They grew up in the crafts quarter of the town of Nijmegen, capital of the Duchy of Gelderland on the Meuse. In Paris they were first apprenticed to a goldsmith and around 1400, Pol and Jehanequin entered the services of the Duke of Burgundy whose brother, the Duke of Berry, had inspired him with a passion for beautiful books. After their employer died in 1404, the three brothers went to work for the Duke of Berry as painters to his court and were entrusted with the decoration of the "Belles Heures". In this Codex, all the 172 miniatures of the Limbourg brothers have a vivacity and colourfulness that secured them a place in the history of illumination. The luxurious decoration is extraordinary in its exhuberance, the combination of gold leaf and shell gold and the perfection achieved in the ornamented initials that extend over one or several lines and are painted in red, blue and glowing gold. The painters executed five additional picture cycles after its completion suggesting the extremely high degree of autonomy that the Duke allowed them. Certain innovations are testimony of the patron's influence on this work; scenes of study and learning that had never been painted in this manner before show the Duke's great interest in science and scholarship. The fruitful combination of the Duke's generous patronage and the unique talent of the brothers brought a working atmosphere of unmatched creativity; without it a masterpiece such as the "Belles Heures" would not have been possible. Commentary by Eberhard Konig (in Ger) and Millard Meiss (in Eng). Limited edition 980 copies, bound in morocco leather with gold tooling in 17th-c. style. €9980   

[New York, Metropolitan Museum, The Cloisters, 54.1.2]
Prayerbook of Jeanne d’Evreux.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1999. 6 x 9 cm, 418 pp + commentary.

This Book of Hours, one of the very earliest ones in this genre and one of the smallest, was made between 1325 and 1328 for Jeanne d’Evreux, consort of the French King Charles IV. It is embellished with 25 miniatures, all of them demi-grisaille, a painting technique using mainly shades of grey and coloring for the figures’ faces and hands. These refined illustrations are the work of Jean Pucell and are the most graceful and innovative of their time showing the influence of Italian painting. Pucell’s work, which combined the Italian and French techniques, represents the first attempt ever made North of the Alps to introduce three-dimensionality in painting. The countless drolleries found on almost every page of this MS is another of its characteristic features. The margins surrounding the text are densely populated with groups of figures playing burlesque scenes or harlequinades. One finds the most incredible creatures and life in all its fantastic variations appearing in this Book of Hours. This masterpiece of the 14th-c. belongs to those medieval works of art where the sacred and the profane, and the serious and the comical are allowed to stand side by side. Commentary edited by Barbara Boehm. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in tooled leather with clasp. sFr6600   

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.50]
Prayer Book of Anne of Bretagne.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1998. 8 x 12.5 cm, 62 pp + commentary.

This richly illustrated little book was commmissioned by Anne of Brittany, wife of two successive Kings of France, Charles VIII and Louis XII, and thus twice Queen of France, for herself and her son Charles-Orland. It was made in Tours between 1492 and 1495 and is the work of an excellent illuminator of the time—Jean Poyet—who is mentioned by contemporary authors in the same breath as Roger van der Weyden, Hugo von der Goes and Jean Fouquet. Like Fouquet, Poyet worked in Tours and was the undisputed successor of the great Jean Bourdichon. His extraordinary talent is shown in his extremely spacious and vaporous landscapes. Graciously presented figures, bright and unusual combination of colors and the architecture of Italian influence are typical of his miniatures and announce the advent of the Renaissance in France. The book reflects Anne's personal ideas and her aspiration to live in faith, a philosophy she wanted to pass to her son, the future King of France. She inserted a prayer specially designed for this purpose, a supplication for the wisdom the King would need. Unfortunately Charles-Orland died at the age of three; the small prayer book, a testimony to motherly love and care has survived. For all her life Anne was a generous patron of the visual arts, literature and music. Her personal library comprised more than 3,000 volumes including religious, historic and literary books and she had a good command of Latin, Greek and some Hebrew. Poyet, whom she charged the execution of her prayer book, was highly esteemed by three royal courts but in the 19th c. fell into undeserved oblivion. This facsimile of one of his most beautiful works helps to restore the position he deserves among western book painters. Commentary by Roger S. Wieck and Michelle Hearne. Limited edition of 1980 copies, bound in burgundy velvet with scarlet leather case. €860   

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.69]
Farnese Stundenbuch (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MS. M69). [standard edition].
Codices Selecti, CVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2001. 11 x 17.3 cm, 228 pp + commentary.

The Farnese Hours is the most significant MS of Italian Renaissance and Mannerist art. It was made around 1546 in Rome, world capital of the arts, where such incomparable masters as Raphael and Michelangelo introduced a new artistic epoch. The most famous and eminent illuminator of the period was Croatian born Giulio Clovio who animated the Farnese Hours with his unique miniatures which appear at once monumental and delicate. Clovio created this very intimate prayer book for the famous cardinal Alessandro Farnese, one of the greatest art patrons of the 16th century. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520–1589), member of one of the most powerful dynasties in Italy, descended in direct lineage from Pope Paul III and administered the priceless art collections of his family. In the Farnese Hours a total of 26 full-page, monumental facing miniatures show a unique and perfect amalgamation of Renaissance and Mannerist elements. Exquisite gold applications and luminous colors combine to create a magnificent holistic work of art. The miniatures are paired according to the same typology—each time a scene from the Old Testament is faced with an episode of the New Testament. A further fascinating aspect of the Farnese Hours is its elaborate borders that frame the 37 decorated text pages with atmospheric landscapes, naturalistic still lives, impressive portraits and the best of grotesque motives. Limited edition, bound in leather. €1980 [3-201-01745-0] 

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.69]
Farnese Stundenbuch (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MS. M69). [deluxe edition].
Codices Selecti, CVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2001. 11 x 17.3 cm, 228 pp + commentary.

(same as the above, but edition of c.100 copies with deluxe binding in full leather with ornate trimming, a faithful reproduction of the original) [3-201-01746-9] 

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.399]
Das Da Costa-Stundenbuch [standard edition].
Codices Selecti, CXVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2010. 12.5 x 17,2 cm. 776 pp + commentary.

The Da Costa Hours is one of the first manuscripts to have been created by Simon Bening. The coat of arms on folio 1v has been ascribed to a member of the Sá family from Portugal. The emblem which has been painted over the coat of arms, however, refers to the man after whom this particular book of hours has come to be named: Don Alvaro da Costa, armorer and treasurer to Manuel I, the King of Portugal who ruled from 1495 to 1521 and founded the Portuguese colonial empire. According to a history of the Da Costa family the manuscript was given as a present by Pope Leo X to King Manuel I who subsequently passed it on to Don Alvaro. Bening’s profound knowledge of pictorial language was enormously important for the way he decorated the Da Costa Hours. The incredible number of miniatures required a large number of compositional models. For instance, the codex required two cycles of pictures illustrating the Passion of Christ; the first 8 for the office of the Passion and a further 4 to depict the Passion by the Evangelists. The Evangelists appear twice, the first time as authors of the passion texts and then again in conjunction with their symbols. To meet these iconographic and compositional requirements Bening drew upon models dating back to the time of Charles the Bold, the Last Duke of Burgundy, for example, by painters such as the Viennese Master of Mary of Burgundy. Yet Bening didn’t simply copy them: by completely redeveloping this material he created a special mastery which not even the original creators could have dreamed of. Bening’s impressive landscape panoramas are captured in the 12 full-page calendar miniatures which are probably some of the most famous and best examples of book illumination. The codex remained in the possession of the Da Costa family for four centuries. It eventually was sold by the London-based antiquariat Bernard Quaritch to George C. Thomas of Philadelphia, later to be sold to John Pierpont Morgan in 1910. Commentary by Gregory T. Clark. Limited edition bound in full leather. €9980  

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.399]
Das Da Costa-Stundenbuch [deluxe edition].
Codices Selecti, CXVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2010. 12.5 x 17,2 cm. 776 pp + commentary.

Same as above but special edition of 99 copies with binding in green velour leather with two silver clasps, and red leather case. €13800  

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.493]
Das Schwarze Stundenbuch.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2001. 12 x 17 cm, 242 pp + commentary.

The Black Hours, a book of unequalled luxury, was made c.1475 in Bruges, probably in the circle of Willen Vrelant, the leading illuminator of the time. All 121 of its vellum folios are stained black. The production of a codex on black parchment was an extremely costly and delicate one; the parchment was immersed in an iron copper solution to obtain the black coloring before it was painted. This immersion process was, in the long run, detrimental to the MS, as the dye made the parchment fragile and brittle, and thus it is no wonder why only a handful of these codices have survived. The Black Hours, one of them, is a splendid jewel in black, silver, gold and blue. More than half of the folios are ornate with large borders grounded in a gleaming blue color; a particular feature of this work is the more than 30 sumptuous initials, in gold leaf on an emerald ground, extending over more than one line to divide the text. Each prayer is introduced by a full page picture. Black MSS are closely associated with the ascent of the dukes of Burgundy; the dukes ruled over Bruges and were well known as patrons of the arts commissioning MSS and tapestries for their residences. Vrelant, Jean van Eyck and Simon Bening were active in Bruges and the city became the heart of European book illumination in the second half of the 15th c. The combination of religious thinking and the fashionable splendor of the Burgundian court is the foundation of the Black Hours, a precious and rare MS. Commentary by Bernard Bousmanne and William Voelkle. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in black velvet with gilded clasp and decorative buttons.  

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.711]
Hainricus Sacramentary (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MS. M711).
Codices Selecti, CX. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2005. 17.2 x 24.2 cm, 296 pp + commentary.

The "Hainricus Sacramentary"—consisting of calendar, gradual-antiphonary, sequentiary & sacramentary—was written and illuminated at the Abbey of Weingarten, a Benedictine house in Württemberg, Germany, ca. 1225-1250. Under Welf IV and his wife Judith, Weingarten became an imperial abbey. The manuscript was commissioned by Hainricus sacristan, a monk at Weingarten Abbey, who is represented on the cover and in 4 miniatures (it has been suggested that Hainricus may have been also the illuminator, but no documentary evidence has been found). Decoration: 5 full-page miniatures, 2 illuminated text pages, 24 calendar medallions, 35 historiated initials. Music: the gradual-antiphonary and sequentiary parts of the manuscript are notated with non-diastematic neumes; the rite accords with the Hirsau tradition. Limited edition of 280 copies bound in full leather with clamshell box. €10500 [3-201-01746-9]  (more info... )

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M.945 & 917]
Das Stundenbuch der Katharina von Kleve.
Munich: Faksimile-Verlag, 2009. 13 x 19.1 cm, 714 pp + commentary.

Around the year 1430 artists in Utrecht—or perhaps also in Nijmegen—produced a marvellous book of hours for the Duchess of Guelders, a book that both in terms of volume and quality is unmatched even in the later period of book painting. A grandchild of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, Catherine of Cleves was the addressee for whom the namesake master decorated this 714-page manuscript book with 157 miniatures. The work’s high quality and enormous iconographic variety lead us to assume that the Master of Catherine of Cleves must have been familiar with the art of the van Eyck brothers and with French illumination of his own day. On the other hand, he developed his own unmistakeable style which was to influence illuminators after him, not only in the Netherlands. Neither Willem Vrelant nor the Master of Mary of Burgundy are conceivable without this greatest of all Dutch book painters. A book like a picture gallery—157 half- and full-page miniatures with opulent frames—make the Hours of Catherine of Cleves the largest coherent picture gallery of Dutch art from the 15th century. Many of these pictures are not only extraordinary in terms of form and content but also unique in the truest meaning of the word: nowhere else in late medieval art do we find parallels or correspondences to this work. Some of the impressive depictions, such as Purgatory and Hell, anticipate themes from the works of Hieronymus Bosch. And we even discover elements that hint at Dutch genre painting of later centuries. The margins of this MS are like an additional book within the book, giving the work a particular cheerfulness, for instance on the page where St. Bartholomew is framed with fresh pastries and crispy pretzels. Commentary by a team of scholar under the direction of Eberhard König. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in brown leather with gilded clasp and generous blindstamping in the style of a historical binding from Utrecht. €9980   

[New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 1166]
The Prayer Book of Claude de France.
Lucerne: Quaternio Verlag, 2009. 4.9 x 6.9 cm, 2 vols, 104 pp + commentary.

Created around 1517 in Tour, the Prayer Book of Claude de France is a painted gem, illustrated throughout, one of the most famous manuscripts made for the royal court of France. The personalized prayer book of the French queen Claude de France enchants us especially by its delicate paintings in a charmingly small format of 49 x 69 mm, and even more so by the unusual wealth of illustration it contains. The namesake master of Claude de France composed a continuous round of full-page and partly even double-page miniatures, surmounted by a small field of text. And even these inscribed areas are now and then cut open to show even more of the picture: a coat flattering wildly in the wind, an emphatic gesture with the arm, or wide landscape vistas to additionally enliven the compositions.. When opening the manuscript, one is amazed by the small-sized work of a completely different master: an ex-libris with the distinctive stroke of Pablo Picasso. This ex-libris was made especially for Picasso’s gallery owner in New York. Commentary in Ger-Eng by Roger Wieck and Cynthia J. Brown. Limited edition of 980 copies bound in burgundy red velvet with golden clasps in the form of a fleur-de-lis; decorative case in leather with magnifying glass by Eschenbach Optics. €1980   

[Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Douce 112]]
The Flemish Book of Hours of Marie de Medici.
Lucerne: Quaternio Verlag, 2111. 13.7 x 20.46 cm, 2 vols, 176 pp + commentary.

Commissioned around 1515-1520 in Ghent or Bruges to the artist known as “Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary”. Every page of the ms is exquisitely decorated: fine architectural interiors, gorgeous landscapes and detailed city scenes, each one depicting a narrative, form the subjects of 3 full-size illuminations and 42 full-page miniatures. There are floral borders on a gold ground or historiated borders in the Flemish and Italian style on every page. It is one of the finest examples of medieval illumination in a personal prayer book and the most copiously illustrated work of the David Master to survive. The ms takes its name from French Queen, Marie de Medici, widow of King Henri IV. For a time she went into exile in Brussels, where she is thought to have acquired the ms before moving again to Cologne. Commentary in Eng-Ger by Eberhard König and P.J. Kidd. Deluxe limited edition of 680 copies bound in silver, velvet and silk. €5480   

[Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Douce 112]]
The Flemish Book of Hours of Marie de Medici.
Oxford: IDS Distribution, 2014. 13.7 x 20.46 cm, 432 pp.

Commissioned around 1515-1520 in Ghent or Bruges to the artist known as “Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary”. Every page of the ms is exquisitely decorated: fine architectural interiors, gorgeous landscapes and detailed city scenes, each one depicting a narrative, form the subjects of 3 full-size illuminations and 42 full-page miniatures. There are floral borders on a gold ground or historiated borders in the Flemish and Italian style on every page. It is one of the finest examples of medieval illumination in a personal prayer book and the most copiously illustrated work of the David Master to survive. The ms takes its name from French Queen, Marie de Medici, widow of King Henri IV. For a time she went into exile in Brussels, where she is thought to have acquired the ms before moving again to Cologne. Commentary in Eng by Eberhard König. Harbound with slipcase. Special introductory offer of $200 until 12/31/14. €250  9781851244072 

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale]
A Pannonhalmi Hóraskönyv (Book of Hours).
Budapest: Kultura International, 1982. 7 x 10 cm, 2 vols, 241, 174 pp.

Book of hours from the Abbey of Pannonhalma. Commentary by Elizabeth Soltész and Flóris Szabó. Bound in velet.  

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 919; Musée du Louvre, R.F. 2835]
Grandes horas del duque de Berry.
Valencia: Patrimonio Ediciones, 2012 30 x 40 cm, 252 pp + commentary.

Special subscription price (reg. €12,900). €10000   

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 920]
Libro de horas de Luis de Laval.
Burgos: Siloé, Arte y Bibliofilia, 2014. 17.2 x 24.3 cm. 700 pp + commentary.

This striking Book of Hours, created c.1470-1475 and continued between 1485-1489, was presented by Louis de Laval Seigneur de Chatillon (one of the greatest bibliophiles of his day) to Anne of France, Duchess of Bourbon. It is described by François Avril “a MS of unusual richness and without doubt the most ambitious work to come out of the Jean de Colombe atelier... a gigantic iconographic achievement that overpasses any other contemporary attempt to assemble within a book of hours a compilation of biblical illustrations." In its 700 pages we find no less that 1,234 miniature, 150 of them are full pages. This is the richest corpus of illustrations that has ever existed in a book of hours. The largest part of this awesome iconographic ensemble is the work of the great Jean Colombe, also known for his work in the Très riches heures du Duc de Berry. But the book is too extensive to be the work of just one artist. In it the best miniaturists of the time come together and collaborate following the most complex modalities of this period which turns out to be much more extensive than what was previously believed. This influential MS shows the presence of another extraordinary artist, a disciple of the art of Fouquet who delights us with the admirable faces of the sibyls or those of St. Matthew and St. Mark. In 1480 the MS became even richer with the addition of a fantastic cycle of biblical illustrations, beginning with Genesis and ending with the Story of Daniel. After the confiscation of the belongings of the constable of Borbon the MS entered the royal collection. Deluxe facsimile accompanied by scholarly commentary limited to 899 copies bound in full leather. Please call for special OMI price. €12960    (more info... )

[Paris, Bibliothèque National, lat. 9471]
Grandes horas de Rohan.
Madrid: A y N Ediciones, 2005 21 x 29 cm, 478, 377 pp.

Known as the Rohan Hours, after the anonymous artist the Rohan Master. This splendid book of hours, c.1430-35, seemed to have been commissioned by Yolande of Aragon. The books margins are decorated with Old Testament miniatures with captions in French in the style of the Bible moralisée. The full-page miniatures are highly dramatic and emotional portrayals of the agonies of Christ and the grief of the Virgin. Deluxe limited edition of 995 copies, bound in full leather. [84 9340 545 0] 

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 9474]
Grandes horas de Ana de Bretaña.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, [2013]. 20 x 30.5 cm, 476 pp + commentary

The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany is a masterpiece of French painting, fitting for someone who was twice queen of France: with Charles VIII and then Louis XII. The codex features veritable paintings rather than miniatures usually found in this type of book. Jean Bourdichon painted almost 50 full-page scenes with gold frames upon a ground of parchment dyed black. These miniatures are comparable to paintings on canvas or board not only because of their dimensions but also because of their foregrounds, use of perspective, pictorial technique, realism of the portraits, etc. The Nativity (f. 51v) is one of the most outstanding night scenes ever painted in a book of hours. The supernatural light cast by the star of Bethlehem magically illuminates an image conveying a clear, theological message. Master Bourdichon’s talent stands out again in the Flight to Egypt (f. 76v), whose light, atmosphere and dark background of rocky mountains recall Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks. The play of light and shade in a starry night is also masterful in the scene of Judas’ kiss (f. 227v); the lamps and torches guide the spectator’s gaze so that no detail of the tragic scene is overlooked. Bourdichon enhances the intriguing luminosity of his colors by delicate brushstrokes of gold that highlight garments, weapons, hair, and angels’ wings. Also noteworthy is the remarkably innovative nature of the calendar featuring not just marginal scenes but full-page paintings interrupted by the framed text beneath the sign of the zodiac of each month. The margins of this codex constitute a comprehensive botanical treatise of more than 330 plants (dotted with brightly colored insects and small animals), with their scientific names in Latin at the top of the image and their common names in French at the bottom. Thus, in short, we have here two codices in one: a spiritual book for meditation and prayer, and a natural encyclopedia. Limited edition of 987 copies. Bound in dark brown leather with generous tooling and metal clasps. (Please inquire for special prepub-prepaid price)  

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 18014]
Les petites heures du Duc de Berry.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1988-1989. 15 x 21 cm, 2 vols, 586, 461 pp.

Jean de France, Duke of Berry, a great patron of the arts and collector, was born in 1340; the son, brother and uncle of three different kings of France. These family relations and his position as duke ruling over a large part of the French heartland places him next to the great princes of his time. His MS collection outdid by far those of other princely courts. Around 1372 the Duke commissioned the Petites Heures; five illuminators were responsible for its decoration. This cooperation between artists was not unusual at the time but these five miniaturists achieved unequalled results. First, the great Jean Le Noir was entrusted with the execution of the decoration; he had since 1340 dominated French book illumination and still produced masterpieces after forty years of activity. Following the famous painting tradition of Jean Purcelle he created the Passion of Christ, the introductory picture to the Penitential Psalms and scenes from the office of John the Baptist. Although these illustrations were completed by his successors they betray his unique art of composition. After his death the MS was interrupted for a few years; later on, probably between 1385 and 1390, the famous Master Jacquemart and some of his colleagues including the Master of Trinity were asked to complete the work. Around 1400, after completion of the MS, the duke had a miniature added by one of the Limbourg brothers. The diversity of these different artists places the Petites Heures among the most important works of late medieval book illumination, at the change from the art of the French court, around the end of the 14th century, to the beginning of what later became known as the International Gothic style. The book offers a true gallery of pictures which would do credit to any museum; the fine illustrations were conceived as artful visual elements underlining the significance of the devotional text and deal with important subjects of the Christian faith. There are 119 gold and silver miniatures and lavish verse initials on almost every page, magnificent scrollwork and countless birds and butterflies. Today, we know that the Duke, who died in 1416, carried this Book of Hours with him on his numerous journeys. Commentary by Francois Avril, Louise Dunlap and Brundson Yapp. Limited edition of 980 copies, gilt edged, bound in full leather. (few copies left)  

[Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, nouv. acq. lat. 3093]
Les très belles heures de Notre-Dame du Duc de Berry.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1992. 20 x 28 cm, 2 vols, 252 pp + commentary.

This Book of Hours represents one the the high points in Western illuminated art. Created during the end of the 14th c. and beginning of the 15th, the book features the work of several artists and several generations, among them the Master of Parement de Narbonne and the Limbourg brothers. The Duke of Berry, son of Jean II the “Good”, was born in 1340. A passionate collector, he filled his 17 castles with magnificent works of art, jewelry, tapestries and books. His 15 Books of Hours were among the finest of the time and this MS ranks at the top. A gift to his treasurer, Robinet d’Estampes, the book has all the essential elements of the genre: the prayers of the Virgin, the hours for the Passion, the Penitential Psalms and Office of the Dead. The 25 pages of miniatures are a testimony of a remarkable unity of conception. Commentary: Eberhard König. Limited edition of 980 copies, with gilt edges and binding in leather with generous gold stamping.  

[Paris, Musée du Louvre, RF 2022-2025 & Turin, Bibli. Nazionale Univ., K.IV29]
Die Louvre-Blätter.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1994. 17.3 x 26.8 cm, 8 pp + commentary.

These four leaves, five with miniatures and three with text, belong to the monumental three-part project commissioned by the Duke of Berry, consisting of a Book of Hours, a Prayer Book and a Missal. They come from the second part of the great project (known as the “Turin” Hours”) which was lost in 1904 in a terrible fire in Turin. Their very survival is due to the fact that they were stolen from the MS! The facsimile edition includes 40 B & W reproductions of the Turin Hours taken before its destruction in 1904. Commentary volume by Eberhard König, Angelo Giaccaria, and François Huot O.S.B. Limited edition of 980 copies in handsome linen portfolio. €860   

[Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, 1650]
Parma Ildefonso.
Modena: Il Bulino, 2010. 15.8 x 23 cm, 222 pp + commentary.

The Parma Ildefonso is an illuminated manuscript on parchment made in Cluny 1090 to 1100. A copy of “De Virginitate Sanctae Mariae” written by Saint Ildefonsus (c.610-667), it is an impassioned theological work railing against heretics who doubt the purity of the Virgin Mary. The text may be a transcription of a Spanish copy destined for Bernardo de la Sauvetat, formerly a monk in Cluny and later Bishop of Toledo. (As Toledo had just been liberated from infidel occupation the text is connected to the reconquering of the Iberian peninsular.) The system of illustration is very complex: each one of the 222 pages is decorated with frames, painted in gold, silver or purple, with geometrical shapes or stylized leaves; inside the frames are the pictures or the text. Moreover there are 9 full-page illuminations, 16 half pages, 8 smaller illuminations representing the prophets, 9 big capital letters, 28 golden smaller letters and many other decorations. Deluxe limited edition of 499 copies. Full leather binding with slipcase covered with linen. €4750    (more info... )

[Piacenza, Biblioteca Capitolare, 65]
Il libro del Maestro - Piacenza, Biblioteca Capitolare, C.65.
Piacenza: Tipleco, 1997. 34 x 51 cm, 2 vols, 904, 273 pp.

Fine color halftone of a rare 12th-c. manuscript from the Cathedral of Piacenza. One of the first ”encyclopedias” of Western Europe, with great historic, paleographic, liturgical and artistic significance, touching the history of music, theater, miniature production, medicine, agriculture and the esoteric sciences. The codex consists of a calendar, psalter, divine office, gradual (with troper-sequentiary), antiphonary, and obiturary. With commentary by Brian Møller Jensen and congress proceeding edited by Pierre Racine. Deluxe binding in full leather, with tooling and brass bosses. $3995    (more info... )

[Ramsen, private collection of Heribert Tenschert]
Das Guémadeuc Stundenbuch. Meister des Antoine de Roche. Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe der Handschrift in Originalformat.
Ramsen: Heribert Tenschert/Ant. Bibermühle, 2000. 14 x 21 cm, 248, commentary pp.

One of the richest Books of Hours known, the true chef d’oeuvre of the Master of Antoine de Roche, an artist of Burgundian origin, working probably in Lyon and then in Paris, where he painted two walls in the Hotel Cluny. Commentary by Eberhard König. Limited numbered edition of 980 copies.  

[Ravenna, Biblioteca Classense, ms. 62]
Libro d’ore di Maria Stuarda.
Castelvetro di Modena: ArtCodex, 2009. 7 x 11 cm, 358 pp + commentary.

This beautiful little book of hours, which is conserved as ms. 62 at the Biblioteca Classense of Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna), dates from the beginning of the 16th century. Almost certainly used by Mary, Queen of Scots herself, the Queen’s name on the first flyleaf would seem to identify the little codex as a very personal possession of one of the most fascinating, enigmatic and tragic figures of Europe of the 16th c. The manuscript text, in Latin and copied in Italian Gothic script, is preceded by seven leaves which illustrate the scenes of the months of the year and the corresponding signs of the zodiac, an iconographic tradition in Anglo-Saxon illuminated codices which dates from the Middle Ages. The very fine illuminated miniatures, rich in flowers, fruit, insects, birds and acanthus leaves and with red initial letters finely worked in gold-leaf, are Flemish in style and very probably originated in the cities of Bruges and Ghent. They include 18 superb full-page illuminations, 12 of which depicting the months of the year and 6 introducing the various Offices. The incisive way of representing the sacred figures, the unusually strong and expressive colors, the abundant use of gold leaf, the use of perspective and spatial illusion which simulate architectural backgrounds or wide landscape views bring to mind the contemporary paintings of Hugo van der Goes and Roger van der Weyden, of Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck. The little volume is issued in a box with a facsimile of the death sentence of Mary, Queen of Scots dated February 1, 1587 which bears the signature of Elizabeth I. Commentary edited by Claudia Giuliani. Limited edition of 999 copies bound in red silken velvet, with a jade stone set in the central gilded ornament and pearl settings on the corner elements. €5700   

[St. Petersburg, Russian National Library, lat. Q.v.I. 126]
Libro de horas de Luis de Orleans.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 2002. 14.7 x 21.5 cm, 232 pp + commentary.

This extraordinary book of hours, created around 1490, is the work of the master painter Jean Colombe and his atelier. The illuminations in this tiny manuscript are quite exceptional. The elaborate layout of its illustrations with sumptuous floral margins, especially in the biblical cycle, is a rare trait in most books of hours. The marginalia is often divided into sections with grotesques, birds, animals and other motifs. It is quite clear that the book once belonged to Louis of Orleans (later King Louis XII), as is suggested by the reference to Saint Louis, as well as the presence of Louis’ autograph and his portrait on folio 11v. Commentary by Ana Domínguez Rodríguez & Carlos Miranda García-Tejedor. Bound in violet velvet with leather case. [84-88526-74-1] 

[St. Petersburg, Russian National Library, lat. Q.v.I. 206]
Liber precum (Russische Nationalbibiothek, St. Petersburg, Signatur: Ms. Lat. O.v.I.206).
Codices Selecti, CVIII. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2003. 19 x 27 cm, 198 pp + commentary.

This codex, created between 1480 and 1490 in Cologne, is a true masterpiece of the late medieval book painting. It contains the most complete and richest iconographic picture cycle of the life and Passion of Jesus with altogether 41 full-page miniatures. The executing artist was a leading protagonist of the Cologne School under Master Stephan Lochner. The most important achievement of the Cologne style—a mixture of gracefulness of the Delicate style and the new realistic view—is revealed particularly in the full-page miniatures. The Master of the St. Petersburg’s Liber Precum created a fantastic work which enriched the scope of variations and added a glittering facet to the late medieval book painting in German. Commentary by James Marrow with an additional contribution by Margarita Lugutowa. Limited edition of 580 copies, bound in leather in the style of the present (16th c.) binding; with clamshell case. €2380 [3-201-01807-4]  (more info... )

[Salamanca, Archivo de la Catedral, ms 2631]
Codex Calixtinus de Salamanca.
Burgos: Siloé, Arte y Bibliofilia, 2012. 27 x 37 cm, 246 pp + commentary.

Students and scholars of the camino are now fortunate to have a second facsimile of Codex Calixtinus, based on the Salamanca copy. Known as Ms. S, and copied around 1325 in Santiago de Compostela, this counts as one of four complete (long) versions of the Jacobus compilation and at the same time one of four that are illustrated. According to M. Alison Stones the meagerness of Jacobus transmissions is a bit baffling—compared to about 200 sources for the Historia Turpini (Book IV), so the facsimile of the Salamanca source is all the more welcome. Telltale aspects of Ms. S show it has a slightly different lineage from Ms. C, and in that way the text and illustrations offer the historian new insights and challenges. Salamanca comes down to us without title page and the initial portrait of Pope Calixtus has been vandalized, however, other than this the manscript is beautifully executed and adorned with 5 stunning illuminations, 1 of them a whole page. Although Salamanca provides full texts for the chants for the office and mass of St. James, the compiler didn't get around to enter the pitches for the chant around the a single reference line (usually C or F). Limited edition of 898 copies. Artisan binding in full leather with gold decoration on spine, pasted etikette and buckram-leather covered slipcase. €2982    (more info... )

[Santa Monica, J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 37]
Das Gebetbuch Karls des Kühnen.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2007. 9.2 x 12.4 cm, 318 pp + commentary.

Commissioned by Charles, duke of Burgundy for his personal use, this precious Burgundian treasure holds a key position in the history of Flemish illumination. Consisting of 159 folios with 47 miniatures it is the work of Lieven van Lathem and the scribe Nicolas Spierinc. A delight in fantasy is evident throughout the book, even in the imaginative borders that are populated with countless drolleries, humans, and birds, all set between colored acanthus leaves and tiny golden buds. The fine calligraphy of the text is organized around more than 360 initials, mostly on chiselled golden grounds; each page of text is additionally decorated with an ornamental border. Lieven van Lathem was active in the cultural area of Flanders, between Bruges and Ghent, Antwerp and Utrecht. Born around 1430, he first was a member of the painters’ guild in Ghent, and later, until his death in 1490, of the St. Luke’s guild in Antwerp. By the end of the 15th c. the Flemish city of Antwerp ranked as the center of landscape painting, but it was van Lathem with his atmospheric art who had paved the way for this development. One name is inextricably associated with the painting school of Bruges and Ghent: that of the Viennese Master of Mary of Burgundy—famous for his forceful expressiveness when it came to bringing life to delicate faces or the movement of muscles on parchment. Although his identity remains unknown, a number of art historians assume him to be Alexander Bening, father of Simon Bening, the last grand Flemish master. He entered the artistic scene with The Prayer Book of Charles the Bold and the world of art immediately got a vivid impression of his unique talent. Nicolas Spierinc, Burgundy’s most famous calligrapher, is not only responsible for the wonderful handwriting, he also embellished many pages with so-called cadels, elaborate letters that were decorated with lines in writing ink. Some of the magnificent cadels were even painted in addition with glowing gold, a lustre that is perfectly rendered in the facsimile edition. Commentary by Antoine de Schryver. Limited edition of 980 copies bound in purple velvet with ornamental clasps, metal corners, medallion and finely applied gilt edges (a replica of the original binding).  

[Santiago de Compostela, Bibl. Universitaria, 609 (Res.1)]
Libro de horas de Fernando I de Leon. Estudios de Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz & Serafín Moralejo.
Colección Scriptorium, 8. Madrid: Testimonio, 1995. 22 x 27 cm, 2 vols, 448, 202 pp.

This important 11th-c. visigothic manuscript—variously referred to in the literature as the Prayer Book of Ferdinand I and the Book of Hours of Ferdinand I—has served as a basis for biblical and liturgical studies and has always been seen as a bench mark for artistic standards for codices from the mid 11th century. Commentary by Manuel C. Díaz & Díaz. Bould in full leather with generous tooling, and metal bosses and two clasps. [84-453-1472-6] 

[Torino, Archivio di Stato, Museo dell’Archivio di Corte, JB.II.21 bis]
Calendario del livre de laudes et dèvotions.
Castel San Pietro: Trident Editore, 2005. 21 x 30 cm. 24 pp + commentary.

First of 4 volumes that comprise the Book of Laudes and Devotions. The Calendario was used for private devotions and to celebrate, with prayers, the religious festivities. It was executed by an artist of the French School around the middle of the 15th century and belonged to the prestigious collection of the House of Savoy. In 1764 King Carlo Emanuele III acquired it from Sigismond Touttemps, Canon of the church of St. Joire in the region of Chambery. It is a splendid example of the late French gothic, richly ornamented with a profusion of gold and color with traces of influence from Flemish painting. Each month is depicted in 2 arch-shaped windows, showing the different activities of the months, including the zodiac signs. The beauty and refinement of the codex is comparable to the best works of the Limbourg Brothers for the Duke of Berry and its paternity goes back to the Parisian School of the Master of Bedford and brother of the King of England Henry V, during the time of the English occupation of Paris. Limited edition of 299 copies bound in full leather. €1950   

[Torino, Archivio di Stato, Museo dell’Archivio di Corte, JB.II.34]
Officium beatae mariae virginis.
Castel San Pietro: Trident Editore, 2005. 15 x 19.5 cm. 238 pp + commentary.

One of the most refined examples of a French school 15th-c. prayer book. This elegant personal devotional book belonged to Maria Antonietta Fernanda of Borbon infanta of Spain and wife of Prince Vittorio Amadeo III. It was acquired by king Carlo Emanuele III as a gift for the Princess of the Savoy House. The Italian destination of the MS is clear by the majority of the saints with Italian names. The beautiful miniatures of the Flemish school of Master Willem Vrelant represents the main episodes of the life of the Virgin. The cornices are richly decorated with interlacing of leaves and flowers and the letters are brilliant with gold and lively colors. Limited edition of 299 copies bound in full leather. €3650   

[Turin, Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, inv. 47]
The Turin-Milan Hours. A Complete Facsimile of Ms. Inv. 47, “Heures de Turin-Milan”. Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, Turin.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1994. 20.3 x 28.4 cm, 2 vols, 252 pp + commentary.

This work is the last part of a monumental project most certainly commissioned by the Duke of Berry and conceived as a a Book of Hours, a Prayer Book and a Missal, all in one volume. Part I is known today as the “Très belles heures de Notre-Dame”. Sadly, the Prayer Book has not survived being the victim of a fire in 1904. The Missal, known today as the “Turin-Milan Hours” took about 70 years to complete (1380-1450). Its creators include the Master of Parament de Narbonne (known for his highly expressive figures in vivid and saturated colors), three anonymous artists working under the Master of Baptist, and Jan van Eyck who worked on it in 1424 and later in 1440. After van Eyck died, further artists were commissioned to carry out the Master’s sketches. The Turin-Milan Hours is an irreplaceable document in the history of art containing both the earliest and latest surviving miniature works of van Eyck. Commentary edited by Enrico Castelnuovo. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in velvet.  

[Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Barb. lat. 487]
Das Barberini-Stundenbuch für Rouen. Cod. Barb. Lat. 487. Ein Meisterwerk französischer Buchkunst um 1510.
Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, LXXXI. Zürich: Belser Verlag, 1994. 14.3 x 21.4 cm, 2 vols, 212, 128 pp.

Paris or Rouen, c.1500. An exquisite and luxurious Book of Hours believed to be the work of Jean Pichore and the assistants of his atelier. Pichore was one of the principal and most active illuminators in Paris and worked for Cardinal Georges d’Amboise. A remarkable characteristic of Codex Barbarinianus is the unity achieved by the artist among text, miniatures, initials and the fantastic borders. There is an overpowering variety of motives in the richly ornamented borders; all of them–193 in number–are different. The beginnings of important texts–readings of the gospels–are particularly splendid. Full-page miniatures on openings forming diptychs are also remarkable. In addition to 17 full-page miniatures there are 44 smaller ones; 24 of them illustrate the various activities of the months and show the respective animal zodiac signs. 14 miniatures are dedicated to different Saints. Commentary by Eberhard König. Limited edition, bound in full leather.  

[Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, lat. 3768]
Libro illustrado de oraciones códice Vat. lat. 3768.
Colección Scriptorium. Madrid: Testimonio, 2009. 338 pp + commentary.

A magnificient Book of Hours copied towards the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th c, associated with the scribes and artists of Ghent and Bruges (Robert Campion, Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Gerard David). Each page has margins illuminated with flowers and fruit, insects, flies and other animals, presented as 3-dimensional images; numerous miniatures (some filling an entire page, others half a page) illustrate sections of the manuscript. Some seem so special that one might think them unique or extremely rare, for example, the one illustrating the sacrament of confession or penitence framed within a great Gothic church, or another with the prayer to a saint with a surprising background: a beautiful landscape where two young men are sailing in a boat, entertaining themselves with music and song. Commentary by Jorge Cardenal Mijía. Limited edition of 980 copies bound in full leather with generous blind stamping. €1450  

[Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, lat. 3781]
Offizium der Madonna. [=Stundenbuch des Jean Bourdichon]. Vat. lat. 3781.
Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, LXVII. Zürich: Belser Verlag, 1984. 11 x 17 cm, 2 vols, 226, 140 pp.

Commentary by Eberhard König. [5105] 

[Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, lat. 10293]
Offizium der Madonna. Vat. lat. 10293. [deluxe edition].
Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, LXXII. Zürich: Belser Verlag, 1987 8 x 11 cm, 474 pp + commentary.

Nobles and wealthy merchants had their personal prayer books illuminated by artists in the 15th century. This exquisite prayer book is attributed to Jean Bourdichon, the renowned artist in the Court of Charles VIII of France, and the last of the great illuminators in the late Gothic style. Each of the text sections–hymns, psalms, and Biblical readings–begins with a magnificent full-page illumination. Its 17 miniatures are framed in ornate borders of scrolls, flowers and birds. In 7 colors plus two types of 23k gold, burnished gold for the backgrounds and bright gold for the highlights. Bound in France in sheepskin. Limited edition of 2900 copies. Deluxe edition with silver clad binding that duplicates the original. [5016] 

[Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Rossi 94]
Stundenbuch. Vat. Ross. 94.
Codices e Vaticanis Selecti, LVI. Zürich: Belser Verlag, 1983. 7 x 9 cm, 480, 48 pp.

Miniature book of hours created in Flanders c.1500. A jewel of medieval illumination and bookmaking. So small it fits into the palm of your hand, this book is written in a fine French-Gothic calligraphy and had the work of three illuminators. Exquisite detail of miniatures and decorative ornaments. The first artist worked closely with the scribe; his hand can be seen in the text in hundreds of initial letters, each painted in burnished gold. The second illuminator created the 24 calendar illustrations. The third miniaturist contributed the delicate illustrations in the margins of each page: flowers, fruits, animals, insects, and jewels of extraodinary precision. Commentary volume by Marcel Thomas. In 8 colors plus 23k pure gold. Bound in gold-stamped skeepskin with deluxe case.  

[Venice, Bibl. Naz. Marciana, lat. I 99 [2138])
Breviario Grimani.
Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2010. 22,5 x 28 cm, 1670 pp + commentary.

The Grimani Breviary is a key work in the late history of Flemish illuminated manuscripts, produced in Ghent and Bruges c.1515-1520. Kept at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice it consistsof 1670 pages full of wonderful illuminations. By 1520 the book was owned, though possibly not originally commissioned, by Cardinal Domenico Grimani. Several leading artists, including Gerard David and the Flemings Simon Bening and Gerard Horenbout, contributed some of their finest work to it. The illuminations represent both religious scenes as everyday scenes from Flanders. Deluxe facsimile edition of 750 copies, bound with red silk velvet on wooden boards. €22000   

[Venice, Bibl. Naz. Marciana, lat. I 104 / 12640]
Libro de horas de la reina Maria de Navarra.
Barcelona: M. Moleiro Editor, 1996. 11.3 x 17 cm, 704 pp.

The first book of hours of the Iberian penninsula and work of the Catalonian illuminator Ferrer Bassa. Particularly noteworthy is the spatial layout and use of rich and delicate tones. Characteristic of the artist is the way he portrays the faces with straight sharp noses and penetrating gaze. The scenes painted in this MS reveal the Sienese influence which softens the plastic language imposed by Giotto and incorporates the rhythm and vitality of Gothic drawings resulting in smoother forms and more harmonious compositions. Commentary by Joaquín Yarza Luaces. Limited edition of 977 copies, bound in full leather. [84-88526-20-2] 

[Vic (Catalunya), Biblioteca Episcopal, ms. 88]
Libro de horas del Obispo Morgades.
Barcelona: Liber Millennium, [in prep]. 10.3 x 14.2 cm. 110 pp + commentary.


[Vienna, Museum für Völkerkunde, KK 5003/5004]
Wiener Musterbuch.
Stuttgart: Verlag Müller & Schindler, 2012 9 x 9.5 cm. 56 pp + commentary.

Models for private devotion books by the Master of Ambrass, a Bohemian painter active in Prague at the end of the 14th c. Consists of a set of silverpoint studies and subjects which where used as models in painters’ studios. Among the subjects are bust-length images of Christ, the Virgin, various saints, the Crucifixion, and the Annunciation. The pictures are collected in groups of four, affixed to 14 small framed panels. 3 independent designs also exist, depicting a philosopher and astronomer, a sybil and John the Evangelist, and the Three Magi; these, too, were probably part of the set. Such is the realism of the designs that it is believed the Master had contact with an artist of the Franco-Flemish school. Special subscription price valid until the end of October, 2012. €980   

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1800]
Das Buchaltärchen Philipps des Guten.
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1991. 18 x 31 cm, 2 vols, 64 pp + commentary.

This piece, in which two separate art forms were produced and united–a Book of Hours and an Altar–is unique in the history of medieval art. It was specially created for Philipp, Duke of Burgundy, and consists of an altar in the form of a diptych, and a MS adorned with miniatures and containing prayers for the Virgin and the Holy Trinity. The two panels of paintings are hinged to the book’s wooden binding, beautifully covered with stamped leather. One panel of the diptych shows the figure of the Holy Ghost, not in the common form of the dove, but as a person. The Holy Trinity and the Crowning of Mary are painted with beautiful intense colors and brilland gold. Three of the five miniatures contained in the book depict Philiipp praying, a proper testimony of his piety. Philipp the Good traveled constantly within his domaines–the Book-Altar was always with him during these journeys. Commentary by Otto Mazal and Dagmar Thoss. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in full leather.  

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1856]
Das schwarze Gebetbuch. Vollfaksimile des Codex 1856 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien. [standard edition].
Frankfurt: Insel-Verlag, 1982. 2 vols, 304, 240 pp.

The illustrations and miniatures are attributed to an artist know as the “Meister des Anton von Burgund” who worked in Bruges. Commentary by Ulrike Jenni and Dagmar Thoss. Limited edition of 850 copies. In loose sheet format (trimmed and folded), in clamshell case. 3-458-14063-8 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1857]
Das Stundenbuch der Maria von Burgund (Das Gebetbuch Karls des Kühnen). (Codex vindobonensis 1857).
Codices Selecti, XIV. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1968. 2 vols, 380, 72 pp.

The Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy was made between 1470 and 1480, when book illumination had reached its peak; although there were already printed books around, this period also saw the production of precious handwritten codices, especially in the Netherlands and in France. This Book of Hours, with its magnificent miniatures and scrollwork reflecting the splendour of the Burgundian court, was a gift of Marguerite of York to her stepdaughter Mary. Besides miniatures of Flemish origin, it also contains some of the most splendid compositions by leading artists of the Burgundian court. The first 34 leaves containing the Calendar follow a special technique where the text is hand written in gold and silver ink on a black ground. Its astonishingly beautiful 20 full-page miniatures raise the curtain on everyday life and thinking in the Burgundian period. Ornamental borders, drolleries, phantastic decorations and rich calligraphic elements embellish each page. The work combines the foremost achievements of Flemish book painting in the late seventies of the 15th century. Although the illustrations show religious scenes, their composition and details are above all masterpieces of painting, as the emphasis seems to be more on artistic execution than on contents. This book most impressively presents not only the way of thinking prevalent during the heyday of the Burgundian court but also documents the courtly society of this period. The reader’s gaze is often pleasantly diverted from the contents of the picture, by idyllic landscape backgrounds, magnificent architecture or fashionable and elegant clothing, not to mention the numerous amusing figures in the margins. If our secular age takes offence at the profane decoration of prayer books, this is because we have forgotten that people of these times were quite innocent of our radical separation of the spiritual and the secular today; they had a holistic Christian conception of the world in which the beautiful and the serene were present, side by wide with the Holy. Commentary by Franz Unterkircher. Limited edition, bound in full leather. [3-201-00734-X] 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1858]
Das Buch der Drolerien (Croy-Gebetbuch). [standard edition].
Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 1993. 13.7 x 19.5 cm, 366 pp + commentary.

As you immerse yourself in this beautiful MS a fantastic picture world of the Middle Ages comes to life, incredible wild creatures created by the greatest Flemish artists. Insolent, charming, grotesque, comic—it is hard to believe that you are in front of a book of prayers. Irreverent, unimaginable drolleries but painted with the greatest virtuosity. This book also contains 58 magnificent miniatures with calendar illustrations and scenes showing events from the Old Testament. As in the “Flower Book of Hours” of Simon Bening there are precious blossoms, butterflies, little crawling animals, etc., which look deceptively real. It is believed that the three most important masters from Flanders participated in its creation: Simon Bening, Gerard Horenbout and Gerard David. Its history is not yet fully known but it is suspected that it first belonged to a refined lady from the Burgundian-Habsburg Court. Commentary by Otto Mazal & Dagmar Thoss. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in full leather.  

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1859]
Gebetbuch Karls V. (Codex vindobonensis 1859).
Codices Selecti, LVII. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1976.


[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1897]
Gebetbuch Jakobs IV von Schottland und seiner Gemahlin Margaret Tudor (Österr. Nationalbibliothek, Codex 1897.
Codices Selecti, LXXXV. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt , 1987. 14.5 x 20 cm, 2 vols, 494, 78 pp.

The medieval Book of Hours was a very personalized type of book; it is wonderfully exemplified in the Prayer Book of James IV and his wife Margaret Tudor. The wedding of the Scottish king and the daughter of the English sovereign Henry VII—a political dream of many who hoped for durable peace between the two countries—was celebrated in 1513 at Holyrood. This Book of Hours probably constitutes the wedding gift of the groom to his bride. Whoever commissioned this work had entrusted one of the leading illuminator’s workshops with the production of his present. The decorative apparatus of the MS is from the hand of several artists of the Gent-Bruges School, among them famous names of Flemish book painting: Gerald Horenbout, court painter of Margaret of Austria, General Governor of the Low Countries, and the so-called Maximilian master. Their style is identifiable due to the perfect execution and the extremely imaginative and elaborate decoration of the borders. Atmospheric long-distance effects are first deployed in the Calendar and its 12 sensational half-page landscape paintings. The days of the months are arranged in pairs placed on two facing pages. Both writing and text are framed in Gothic tracery architecture and form a harmonious composition. The donators’ portraits depicting King James himself and his wife Margaret Tudor make reference to the original owners of the MS. The prayer book is illustrated by 65 full-page miniatures which mark the chapter beginnings or are dispersed throughout the text. The rich and detailed decoration makes them unique examples of their kind. Both miniature and text pages are framed with borders showing blossoms, rinceaux and tiny creatures in a stunningly naturalistic style. The Prayer Book of James IV owes its outstanding significance not only to its position in history but also to its high art historic value. It ranks among the most important works ever made in a workshop of the Gent-Bruges School where Flemish illumination flourished in a final blossoming. Commentary by Margareta Friesen. Limited edition bound in red velvet. €2600 [3-201-01354-4] 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1907]
Das ältere Gebetbuch Maximilians I (Codex vindobonensis 1907).
Codices Selecti, XXXIX. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1973. 13.3 x 19 cm, 2 vols, 182, 58 pp.

€390 [3-201-00828-1] 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 2368]
Das Lehrbuch für Kaiser Maximillian I
Codices Selecti, CIX. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 2004. 21 x 27.5 cm, 54 pp + commentary.

A masterpiece of book art, this sumptuously illustrated MS is the oldest of three surviving “Lehrbücher” compiled for Maximillian, all illuminated by the same artist. Commentary by Karl-Georg Pfändtner, with contributions by Andreas Fingernagel & Alois Haidinger. Limited edition of 480 copies, bound in full leather with stamping, after the original. €1780 [3-201-01830-9] 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, mixt. 1876]
Abu Abdallah Muhammed ibn Abi Bakr ibn Sulayman al-Gazuli. Dala’il al’Hayrat. Hinweisungen zur Wohltätigkeit (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Wien, Codex Vindobonensis Mixt. 1876).
Codices Selecti, LXXXVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1987. 11.4 x 11.4 cm, 318, 68 pp.

The prayer-book Dala’il al’Khayrat (“Guidelines “to the blessings and the shinings of lights, giving the saying of the blessing prayer over the chosen Prophet”) by the Moroccan mystical activist Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad bl Sulayman al-Jazuli is one of the best known books in Sunni Islam. There are thousands of MSS of it all over the world and many hundreds of printed versions. The subject material—essentially a long litany of blessings over the Prophet Muhammad—vouches for a luxurious execution of the MSS, and the skills of Qur’anic calligraphers, especially in the Maghrib and in Istanbul came to full fruition. The extraordinary high quality of ÖNB mixt. 1876 with its Maghribi text and rich oriental-islamic decoration make it one of the masterpieces of arabic calligraphy. Commentary by T. al Samman. Limited edition of 980 copies bound in leather with oriental patterns; clamshell case covered in cloth. €1500 [3-201-01325-0] 

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, ser.nov.2617]
Ein Lehrbuch für Maximilian I. Der Codex ser. n. 2617 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien.
Salzburg: Andreas & Andreas, 1981. 22 x 31 cm, 2 vols, 44, 60 pp.

One of three surviving “Lehrbücher” written for Maximillian, illuminated by the same artist. Commentary by Otto Mazal. Limited numbered edition, bound in full leather with slipcase.  

[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, ser.nov.2844]
Rothschild-Gebetbuch (Codex Vindobonensis S.N.2844).
Codices Selecti, LXVII. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1979. 22.8 x 61 cm, 2 vols, 504, 141 pp.

€2400 [3-201-01108-8] 

[Vienna, Österr. Nationalbibliothek, ser.nov. 132551]
Das jüngere Gebetbuch Karls V. Aus dem Besitz der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. Codex Ser. n. 13.251.
Codices Selecti, XCVI. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1993. 7.5 x 14 cm, 2 vols, 248, 112 pp.

In structure this Book of Hours from 16th-c. Flanders follows the traditional model (calendar, followed by a groupings of prayers for the Saints, excerpts from the Evangelists, accounts of the Passions, prayers for the Holy Ghost, etc.). Its outstanding quality lies in its unusual treatment of the illustrations, namely in its restrained use of color. Entire miniatures and initials are painted in a greyish monochrome manner, like subtle pencil sketches; highlighting is achieved by small amounts of burnished gold. The understatement of the drawings forms a nice contrast with the beautiful architectural frames in gold, a typical Renaissance design feature. The script is an exceptionally beautiful “humanistica formata”. Commentary by Otto Mazal. Limited edition of 980 copies, bound in red velvet. €1580 [3-201-01606-3] 

[Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Guelf. 13 Aug.2˚]
Das goldene Hildesheimer Kalendarium.
Stuttgart: Verlag Müller & Schindler, 2004. 22.5 x 31 cm. 2 vols, 16, 76 pp.

Richly ornamented calendarium documenting the transition from the romanesque to the French gothic periods. Two full page miniatures in the classic Hildesheim style show a harmonic mix of romanesque, gothic and byzantine influences. The miniatures are protected by silk overlays (also reproduced in facsimile). On seven calendar pages beautiful executed arcades frame pairs of months, together with appropriate signs of the Zodiac. The necrology in the manuscript is a later addition stemming from the region of Quedlinburg. Full leather, with clamshell case. €980  3-87560-029-0  (more info... )

[Zaragoza, Biblioteca del Colegio de las Escuelas Pías]
Libro de horas de los Escolapios.
Burgos: Siloé, Arte y Bibliofilia, 15 x 22 cm, 400 pp.

Limited edition of 898 copies. 978-84-934894-4-1 

[Hardouyn, Grillet]
A Paris Book of Hours.
Budapest: Kultura International, 1985. 15 x 24 cm, 2 vols, 20, 192 pp.

Facsimile edition of a book of hours printed in Paris in 1510 by the workshop of Grillet Hardouyn. Commentary by Csaba Csapodi. Bound in velet. [963-13-2398-6]