You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 2969

Title Book of Hours, Use of Rome
Origin France, Central (Bourges)
Date c. 1508
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Artists Attributed to the Master of Spencer 6 (see Avril and Reynaud 1993).
Decoration 14 large miniatures with large decorated initials, a few with bas-de-page scenes, in architectural frames, in colours and gold (ff. 9, 13v, 33, 38, 50v, 60, 64, 67v, 70v, 73v, 79, 91, 105, 136). 1 large miniature with a large decorated initial, in colours and gold (f. 10v). 7 small miniatures, in colours and gold (ff. 11v, 12v, 133, 133v (x2), 134, 134v). Large and small decorated initials, in colours and gold. Small initials (1 line) and line fillers in gold on red, blue or brown grounds.
Dimensions in mm 210 x 125 (120 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 161 (+ 3 unfoliated medieval parchment leaves after f. 37 and 1 after f. 155; + 1 paper flyleaf at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Diced brown leather; gilt and gauffered edges.
Provenance Guillaume de Seigne, trésorier général de l'artillerie du roi, and his wife, Claudine Fortier, married in 1508, of Blèré, 30 km east of Tours: their arms and their initials G and C (ff. 33, 38, 70v, 136), and inscribed 'Le lundi vingthuitiesme jour daoust lan mil cinq cens et huit furent espousez en leglise parroichiale de blere guillaume de seigne tresorier de lartillerie et Claudine Fortier fille de monseigneur le tresorier maistre Florimont Fortier' (f. 156), followed by many dated entries recording the birth and baptism of children from 1514 to 1528 (ff. 156-159), and 'A damoyselle Anne de Seigne dame de Beauchesne(?) et de Boyspateau' (f. 1v).
Vasselin family, by 1567: inscribed 'Le lundi xxvije iour de octobre mil cinq cens soixante sept une heure apres mynuict nasquit Alexandre Vasselin et furent ses parains Iacques Chappeau sr du grend goustan pres seymes et Pierre Regnault sr de la Bochestiere: et marayne Claude Dargy dame de mesvre et fut baptize en leglise de blere et nasquit A Boys pateau' (f. 2); other Vasselin inscriptions (ff. 158v-161v).
Inscribed, late 16th century: 'Ces heures apartiene a Mademoiselles decorat(?)', the following text erased (f. 2).
A bookplate(?) has been cut out (f. 1v).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley '1 March 1720/1.' (f. 2). Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Despite being Use of Rome and made in Bourges for the Tours area, the text makes two mentions of Le Mans (e.g., '... des antiennes et oraisons de plusieurs sainctz et sainctes apostres martirs confesseurs et vierges selon lusaige du Mans.' (f. 150v, cf. f. 145)., and Le Mans saints appear among the suggrages (Pavatius, Bertrannus, et al., ff. 144v-145v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II, no. 2969.

Janet Backhouse, Books of Hours (London: British Library, 1985), p. 58, pl. 57.

François Avril and Nicole Reynaud, Les manuscrits à peintures en France 1440-1520 (Paris: Flammarion, 1993), pp. 307, 315, 343, 344 [exhibition catalogue].

Janet Backhouse, Illumination from Books of Hours (London: British Library, 2004), fig. 32.

Katja Monier, 'Vision and Devotion in Bourges around 1500: an Illuminator and his World' (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Edinburgh: , 2014), pp. 67, 71, 171, App. 1, pp. 68-70.

* * *

f. 38

f. 50v

f. 91

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back