Book of hours

Download image: 
Accession number: 
MS M.1200
Book of hours
France, Burgundy, ca. 1480s
French 18th-century olive morocco gilt, bund papier endpapers.
Gift of Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, 2021.
i + 124 + iv leaves (1 column, 14 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 232 x 160 (118 x 73) mm
Saints revered in Burgundy are included in the sparse calendar, with St. Vincent of Besançon in gold (23 September), Lupus of Chalons-sur-Soâne in blue (27 January), and Claude of Besançon (6 June), and the litany names Philibert (of Tournus Abbey), Gerald (prior of Cluny), Hugh (abbot of Cluny), Maieul and Consortian (Cluny), Benignus (Dijon) and Radegundis (presumably of Bassigny); the pentrial ("rege livre et onnez") of an early owner appears in the margin on fol. 41 and family records have been erased from the margins of the opening calendar leaves; Gabriel de Chabannes (1552-1599), vicomte de Savigny, seigneur de Chaumont, was a "gentilhomme de la chambre du roi," first "echanson de la reine," and "chevalier de l'Ordre du Roi" (his name inscribed on final blank in a 16th-century hand, with monograms and a verse in French opening "Lamour la mort la mer"; further inscriptions in Latin appear to be in a 17th-century hand and include the date 11 October 1[?]61; George Templeton Strong (1820-1875), (inscribed in ink under the cutting from his catalogue on fol. i: "Geo. T. Strong Dec 3rd 1846"); his sale, New York, Bangs & Co., 4 November 1878, lot 820 (lot number is written on the verso of the first flyleaf; description of the lot clipped from the Strong auction catalogue is pasted to fol. i); William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919), 1st Viscount Astor (his MS A.14 [sticker on recto of the first flyleaf]; it may be Astor's handwriting on the clipping from the Strong catalogue pasted on to fol. i that reads "Bought at the Strong Sale/N.Y., November 1878 $250" [a sale price confirmed by the Morgan Library's annotated copy of the Strong catalogue]); inherited by his son Waldorf Aster, 2nd Viscount Astor (1879-1952); inherited by his son William Waldorf Astor II, 3rd Viscount Astor (1907-1966); deposited at the Bodleian Library shortly before the death of the 3rd Viscount in 1966; sold by order of the Trustees of the Astor Family in London, Sotheby's, 21 June 1988, lot 64; Ladislaus von Hoffmann (1927-2014); his sale (Part III of his "Arcana Collection"), London, Christie's, 6 July 2011, lot 22; Heribert Tenschert (his catalogue 71, Tour de France, 2013, I, 278-98, no. 13, illus.); Marguerite Steed Hoffman.

Ms. book of hours for the use of Rome, written and illuminated in Burgundy, France, ca. 1480s.
This is one of the finest and most imaginative of the works by the Master of the Burgundian Prelates.
The Astor collection apparently had two important Books of Hours illuminated by the Master of the Burgundian Prelates. The present manuscript (MS A.14) and a second one (MS A.18) that was sold in London, Sotheby's, 1 December 1987, lot 46 (this sale had seven Astor manuscripts: lots 45 to 51); after the sale, Astor MS A.18 was dismembered.
Collation: 1-3⁶, 4-16⁸, 17³ (of 6, iii + vi cancelled blanks)
Contents: Calendar (fols. 2-13v), Gospel Lessons (14-19v), Hours of the Virgin (20-75), Hours of the Cross (75v-79), Hours of the Holy Spirit (79v-83), Penitential Psalms and Litany (84-107v), Office of the Dead (108-125).
Illuminations: 14 full-page miniatures and 3 historiated initials.
Artist: Master of the Burgundian Prelates.
List of illustrations: The following are full-page except for the three evangelists after John, which are historiated initials: John on Patmos, with the Destruction of Diana's Temple and John Turning Sticks and Stones into Gold and Jewels (fol. 14); Luke (15v); Matthew (17); Mark (18v); Annunciation, with Temptation of Adam and Eve and Gideon with the Fleece (20); Visitation, with the Marriage of the Virgin (33v); Nativity, with Moses and the Burning Bush and the Flowering of Aaron's Rod (48); Annunciation to the Shepherds (53); Adoration of the Magi, with Abner before David and the Queen of Sheba before Solomon (57v); Presentation in the Temple, with the Firstborn Presented in Order to be Brought Back and Anna's Presentation of Samuel (61v); Flight into Egypt, with Isaac with Esau and Jacob's Departure from Rebecca (65v); Coronation of the Virgin (72); Crucifixion, with Sacrifice of Isaac and Moses and the Brazen Serpent (75v); Pentecost, with Moses Receiving the Law and the Acceptance of Elijah's Sacrifice (79v); David and Goliath, with David Fleeing Saul from Michol's Window and Saul's Coronation of David (84); Procession of St. Gregory, with the Three Living and Three Dead (99v); Dying Man Receiving His Last Communion, with a Burial (108).

Gothic book-hand
Latin and French