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Detailed record for Egerton 2125

Title Prayer book of Joanna of Ghistelles (Office of the Dead, Use of Messines)
Origin Netherlands, S. (Ghent)
Date c. 1516 (before 1529)
Language Latin, Netherlandish (f. 143-145 and some rubrics), and French (ff. 218-220v)
Script Gothic
Artists Simon Bening and workshop
Decoration 22 full-page miniatures in architecutral frames, scatter, or historiated borders, accompanied by full scatter or historiated borders on the facing page, in colours and gold (ff. 13v, 27v, 34v, 64v, 117v, 142v, 146v, 154v, 157v, 170v, 174v, 180v, 182v, 186v, 194v, 197v, 200v, 203v, 206v, 209v, 212v, 215v). Large and small initials formed of gold acanthus on red, blue, or green grounds.
Dimensions in mm 150 x 105 (95 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 220 (+ 3 original leaves at the beginning, and 7 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Pre-1600. Panel-stamped brown leather over wooden boards by Ludovicus Block (d. 1529); joints repaired; gilt and gauffered edges. Modern protective leather chemise.
Provenance Ludovicus Bloc (d. 1529), book-binder: 'Ob laudem xpristi librum hunc recte ligavi Ludovicus Bloc' (stamped on binding).
Joanna of Ghistelles (d. 1561), elevated to the office of the abbess of the Benedictine Abbey of Messines (Mesen), near Ypres, in 1516: the Benedictine calendar includes Countess Adela (8 January), founder of the Abbey, and the dedication of the church and choir (21 September), and its octave (28 Sept.); both litanies have Sidronius (relics at Messines) immediately after Stephen (f. 46v, 62); the first has Benedicte followed by 'Sancte pater Benedicte' (f. 48); the petitions include 'Ut pontifices, abbates et abbatissam nostram …' (f. 51v, cf. f. 63); the collects include '… ut famulam tuam abbatissam nostram …' (f. 58); a memoria is for Saint Godeleva of Ghistelles, a special protector of the Ghistelles family (ff. 217r-v); added contemporary devotions in French include instructions for the abbess of Messines (ff. 218-220v), e.g. 'Ychi ensient aultres psalmes les quelez on doit dire quant on mest en terre vngne religieuse ou vng chanone de Messines …' (f. 220).
Unidentified owner: with the remains of a bookplate (upper pastedown).
Antonius Bernardus Joseph Flament, of Peruwelz, Hainault, 1803: inscribed with his name and the date (upper and lower pastedowns).
M. Deltil, Peruwelz (see Weale 1872/73).
Carlo Ferrario (b. 1833, d. 1907) (see below).
Bought by the British Museum from Ferrario, 10 December 1870 (according to a note on 1st flyleaf), using the Bridgewater fund (£12,000 bequeathed in 1829 by Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater (b. 1756, d. 1829).
Notes The litany has Leocadia fifth amongst the virgins (f. 49)
Select bibliography James W. H. Weale, 'Manuscrit enluminé de l'abbaye de Messines, c. 1530', Le Beffroi, 4 (1872/73), 195-97.

Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1853-1875 (London: British Museum, 1877), no. Eg. 2125.

George F. Warner, Illuminated Manuscripts in The British Museum, Series I-IV (London: British Museum, 1903), pl. 55.

[George Warner], Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series I, (London: British Museum, 1907), pl. 39.

British Museum: Guide to the Exhibited Manuscripts, 3 parts (London: British Museum, 1923), III: Illuminated Manuscripts and Bindings of Manuscripts Exhibited in The Grenville Library, no. 82.

[J. A. Herbert], British Museum: Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series 1, 3rd edn (London: British Museum, 1923), pl. 39.

A Guide to the Exhibition of Some Part of the Egerton Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1929), no. 30, pl. V.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Manuscript (Oxford: Phaidon, 1979), pl. 67.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (London: British Library, 1997, no. 203.

Maurits Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures from the 8th to the mid-16th Century (Leuven: Brepols, 1999), p. 462, pl. 64 on p. 462.

Kaat Van Wonterghem, ‘Van Eenen Boecxken Te Scryvene: The 16th-century Liturgical Books of the Brussels Collegiate Church of Saint Gudula, A Brief Survey’ in ’Als Ich Can’: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr. Maurits Smeyers, ed. by Bert Cardon and others, 2 vols (Paris: Uitgeverij Peeters, 2002), pp. 1547-1578 (pl. 2).

Justin Clegg, The Medieval Church in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2003), p. 9, fig. 5.

Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance: the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (London: British Library, 2003), no. 141.

Scot McKendrick, Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1400-1550 (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2003), pls. 117-18.

The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, ed. by Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), p. 147.

Greg Buzwell, Saints in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2005), p. 31.

Erik Drigsdahl, 'Egerton 2125. Prayerbook of Joanna of Ghistelles, Abbess of Messines'.
Last revised: 27 February 2006


Images
* * *
 
Calendar page

f. 7v
Calendar page
Resurrection of Lazarus

f. 64v
Resurrection of Lazarus
Office of the Dead

f. 117v
Office of the Dead
 
Virgin and Child

f. 157v
Virgin and Child
Adoration of the Magi

f. 182v
Adoration of the Magi
St Adrian of Nicodemia

f. 200v
St Adrian of Nicodemia
 
Roch

f. 209v
Roch
Mary Magdalene

f. 215v
Mary Magdalene
Scatter border

f. 216
Scatter border
 

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