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 Additional 18850

Title Book of Hours, Use of Paris (the 'Bedford Hours')
Origin France, Central (Paris)
Date c 1410-1430
Language Latin and French
Script Gothic
Artists Bedford Master: all miniatures and associated borders, except:
ff. 188-189 attributed to the Master of the Munich Golden Legend
Text borders attributed to the Master of the Cité des Dames, the Master de Laval, and others
Decoration 5 full-page miniatures in gold and colours without borders (ff. 14, 15v, 16v, 17v, 288v) and 33 large miniatures in colours and gold with full borders (ff. 32, 204v, incuding two full-page miniatures, ff. 256v, 257v). Full ivy-leaf borders with historiated roundels or medalions (over 1200) on every other page. Small miniatures in the calendar with the labours of the months and the signs of the Zodiac. 3 historiated initials (ff. 25, 28v, 32). Illuminated initials and line fillers.
Dimensions in mm 260 x 185 (115 x 70)
Official foliation ii + 289 (ff. i-ii are modern parchment leaves; the unfoliated flyleaves are: 2 modern parchment leaves at the beginning and 1 at the end, and 4 paper leaves at the beginning and 3 at the end).
Collation i12 (ff. 1-12); ii2 (ff. 13-14); iii4 (ff. 15-18); iv8 (ff. 19-26); v4 (ff. 27-31); vi-xxxiii8 (ff. 32-255); xxxiv4 (ff. 256-259); xxxv-xxxvii8 (ff. 260-283); xxxviii4 (ff. 284-287); xxxix2 (ff. 288-289). Leaves mounted on guards. Catchwords.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. BM/BL in-house binding.
Provenance John [John of Lancaster], duke of Bedford (b. 1389, d. 1435), regent of France and prince, adapted for him after his marriage to Anne of Burgundy, sister of Philip the Good, in 1423: mottos of the duke of Bedford, 'a vous entier' and of Anne of Burgundy, duchess of Bedford, 'jen suis contente', (f. 138r); a portrait of the duke (f. 265v); a portrait of Anne of Burgundy (f. 257v); given by Anne to her nephew Henry VI (inscription cited below).
Henry VI (b. 1421-d. 1471), king of England: inscription by John Somerset, physician, Henry VI's tutor, stating that the manuscript was presented to the king by Anne of Burgundy at Rouen, 24 December 1430 (f. 256r).
Henry II (b. 1519, d. 1559), king of France and his consort Catherine de' Medici (b. 1519, d. 1589): their arms painted on shields originally bearing the arms of the first owners, and suspended from branches of a fruit tree, the device of the duchess of Bedford (f. 15r).
Frances Worsley (b. 1673, d. 1750), wife of Sir Robert Worsley (b. 1669, d. 1747), 4rt baronet of Appuldurcombe: probably purchased from her by Edward Harley between 1713 and 1724 (see Wright 1972).
Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts: his arms and quarterings, impaling those of his wife, Henrietta Cavendish Holles, are painted on an inserted leaf at the beginning of the book (ff. i verso-ii recto)
Margaret Cavendish Holles Harley (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland, daughter of Edward Harley and Henrietta Cavendish Holles, inherited by her; in her sale at Skinner & Co, 1786.
James Edwards (b. 1757, d.1816), bookseller of Pall Mall, London: purchased by him at Skinner and Co., London in 1786; his sale, R.H. Evans, April 1815, lot 830.
George Spencer-Churchill (b. 1766, d. 1840), 5th duke of Marlborough, purchased by him together with the rest of Edwards' library; his sale, R.H. Evans, 19 June, 1833, lot 613.
John Milner, pledged to him by Spencer-Churchill as a security for a loan and, when in his possession, studied by Frederic Madden in June 1828.
Sir John Tobin (b. 1763, d. 1851), Liverpool shipping merchant, purchased by him at George Spencer-Churchill's sale for £1100; given by him to his son Rev. John Tobin in 1838.
Rev. John Tobin of Liscard Hall, near Brighton, sold by him to William Boone, London bookseller in 1851. Purchased by the British Museum from William Boone, London bookseller: a note by Frederic Madden of the British Museum, 'Purchased of Messers W. and J. Boone of 129 New Bond Street, 2nd. Feb. 1852'.
Notes The manuscript was rebound when in possession of Lord Harley. The former crimson velvet binding with clasps is stored separately as Add MS 18850/1.
John, Duke of Bedford's colours were red, white, and blue enamel (vermeil, blanc et pers) and his motto was 'A vous entier', and that of his wife was 'J'en suis content'. (see Jenny Stratford, The Bedford Inventories (1993).
The iconography of the medallions is explained in verses in French, written in gold and blue in lower margins, which were probably added in the last stage of the production of the manuscript by the scribe of ff. 288-289v.
Ff. 188-189 are attributed to the Master of the Munich Golden Legend; the borders of the text, executed at an earlier stage, are associated with the Master of the Cité des Dames, the Master de Laval, and others (see König, The Bedford Hours (2007)).
Select bibliography Richard Gough, An Account of a Rich Illuminated Missal Executed for John Duke of Bedford (London, 1794).
Montague Rhodes James, The Apocalypse in Art, The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1927 (London: British Academy, 1931), no. 74.
Jean Porcher, French Miniatures from Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Collins, 1960), p. 91.
Eleanor P. Spenser, 'The Master of the Duke of Bedford: The Bedford Hours', The Burlington Magazine, 57 (1965), 495-502.
Alan N. L. Munby, Connoisseurs and Medieval Miniatures 1750-1850 (Oxford, 1972), pp. 2-13.
Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 360-61.
Millard Meiss, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries (London, 1974), I, p.364.
Janet Backhouse, 'A Reappraisal of the Bedford Hours', British Library Journal, 7 (1981), 47-69.
Janet Backhouse, Books of Hours (London: British Library, 1985), figs. 1-2.
Charles Sterling, La peinture médiévale à Paris, 1300-1500 (Paris, 1987), pp. 419-34.
Jenny Stratford, 'The Manuscripts of John, Duke of Bedford: Library and Chapel', in England in the Fifteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1986 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. by D. Williams (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 329-50 (pp. 342-43).
Janet Backhouse, The Bedford Hours (London: British Library, 1990).
François Avril and Nicole Reynaud, Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France 1440-1520 (Paris: Flammarion, 1993), pp. 23-24 [exhibition catalogue].
Jenny Stratford, The Bedford Inventories: The Worldly Goods of John, Duke of Bedford, Regent of France (1389-1435), (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1993), pp. 83, 97, 98 n. 4, 100, 114, 120-21.
Richard K. Emmerson, 'The Apocalypse Cycle in the Bedford Hours', Traditio, 50 (1995), 173-98.
Richard H. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse, Manuscripts and Their Makers: Commercial Book Producers in Medieval Paris 1200-1500, 2 vols (Turnhout: Harvey Miller, 2000), I, p. 403 n. 91.
Paris 1400: Les arts sous Charles VI (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2004), fig. 97 [exhibition catalogue].
The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, ed. by Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), p. 206.
Treasures of the British Library, ed. by Nicolas Barker and others (London: British Library, 2005), p. 121.
Patricia Stirnemann and Claudia Rabel, 'The Très Riches Heures and Two Artists Associated with the Bedford Workshop', Burlington Magazine, 147 (2005), 534-38.
Catherine Reynolds, 'The Très Riches Heures, the Bedford Workshop, and Barthelemy d'Eyck', Burlington Magazine, 147 (2005), 526-33.
Catherine Reynolds, 'The Workshop of the Master of the Duke of Bedford: Definitions and Identities', in Books and Book Production in Paris c. 1400, ed. by Peter Ainsworth and Godofred Croenen (Leuven:Peeters, 2006), pp. 437-72.
Eberhard König, The Bedford Hours: The Making of a Medieval Masterpiece (London: British Library, 2007).
Bedford Hours: London, British Library, Add. MS 18850, with commentary by Eberhard König (Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2007) [facsimile].
Margaret Scott,Medieval Dress & Fashion (London: British Library, 2007), pl. 80.
Philip Howard, The British Library: A Treasure House of Knowledge (London: Scala Publishers, 2008), no. 5.
Babylon: Myth and Reality, ed. by I. L. Finkel and M. J. Seymour (London: British Museum, 2008), fig. 112 [exhibition catalogue].
Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 2.
Scot McKendrick, John Lowden, and Kathleen Doyle, Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 142 [exhibition catalogue].
Joni M. Hand,Women, manuscripts and identity in Northern Europe, 1350-1550 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 23, 33, n. 117.

Laurent Ungeheuer, ‘Le Maître de la Légende dorée de Munich, un émule du Maître de Bedford: Collaborations et indépendance d’un enlumineur parisien entre 1420 et 1450’, Revue de L’Art, 195 (2017), 23-32.


Images
* * *
 
January

f. 1
January
March

f. 3
March
Litany for August

f. 8v
Litany for August
 
Garden of Eden

f. 14
Garden of Eden
Bedford arms

f. 15
Bedford arms
Building of the Ark

f. 15v
Building of the Ark
 
After the Flood

f. 16v
After the Flood
The Tower of Babel

f. 17v
The Tower of Babel
John the Evangelist

f. 19
John the Evangelist
 
Mary climbs a mountain

f. 21
Mary climbs a mountain
The Annunciation

f. 32
The Annunciation
Doctor

f. 59
Doctor
 
Nativity with snow

f. 65
Nativity with snow
Adoration of the Magi

f. 75
Adoration of the Magi
The Flight into Egypt

f. 83
The Flight into Egypt
 
Assumption

f. 89v
Assumption
David and Bathseba

f. 96
David and Bathseba
The Trinity

f. 113v
The Trinity
 
Paul and Barnabas; Jonathan

f. 119v
Paul and Barnabas; Jonathan
Requiem mass

f. 120
Requiem mass
Feast of All Saints

f. 126
Feast of All Saints
 
Feast of Pentecost

f. 132
Feast of Pentecost
Charlemagne and religious orders

f. 150v
Charlemagne and religious orders
Prophesies

f. 157v
Prophesies
 
Soldiers fighting and Nero persecuting Christians

f. 179
Soldiers fighting and Nero persecuting Christians
The Seat of Mercy

f. 204v
The Seat of Mercy
Arms of the Duke of Bedford and Anne of Burgundy

f. 207v
Arms of the Duke of Bedford and Anne of Burgundy
 
Beasts

f. 210
Beasts
Christian kings and devils

f. 231v
Christian kings and devils
The Crucifixion

f. 240
The Crucifixion
 
Entombment of Christ

f. 249v
Entombment of Christ
John Duke of Bedford and George

f. 256v
John Duke of Bedford and George
Saints tortured

f. 257
Saints tortured
 
Anne of Burgundy

f. 257v
Anne of Burgundy
Legend of the fleur-de-lys

f. 288v
Legend of the fleur-de-lys
Clovis

f. 289
Clovis
 

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