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Detailed record for Royal 2 D XL

Title Book of Hours ('Hours of Louis XII', or 'Hours of Henry VII'), imperfect
Origin France, Central (Tours)
Date c. 1498- c. 1499
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Artists Jean Bourdichon
Decoration 1 full page frame in gold and colours (f. 1). Initials in colours and gold, containing fruits, flowers, birds or animals, with one-sided trompe l'oeil borders in colours and gold on every page. Line-fillers in gold and colours, some in the form of branches.
Dimensions in mm 275 x 190 (130 x 85), in one column
Official foliation ff. 52 (+ 9 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end, and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaf at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Louis XII (b. 1462, d. 1515), king of France, made for him c. 1498-99: his portrait with his patron saints Michael, Charlemagne, Louis, and Denis, and with two inscriptions, 'Loys XII de ce nom' and 'Il lest fait en l'eage de XXXVI ans', on a detached miniature associated with the manuscript, now J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79a; and illuminated by Jean Bourdichon of Tours (b. 1457/58, d. 1521), court painter to four successive French kings: Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII, and François I: this manuscript attributed to Bourdichon on stylistic grounds (see A Masterpiece Reconstructed 2005).
Henry VII (b. 1457, d.1509), king of England and lord of Ireland: associated with him: inscriptions on the spine of the 19th century binding, 'Horae regis Henrici VII', and 'H. VII. R', being a possible copy of the title on the earlier binding.
All of the miniatures and a number of other folios removed, probably in England, before 1700: 1 leaf included in the Samuel Pepys Collection, formed in 1700 (now Magdalene College, Cambridge, vol. I, p. 13) and 1 in the collection of John Bagford (d. 1716) (now Harley 5966, f. 54).
Not included in the David Casley, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King’s Library (London, 1734).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Includes the text pages of the 'Hours of Louis XII'. Other fragments of this manuscript are: 1 leaf in the Bagford collection of fragments, Harley 5966, f. 54, 1 leaf in the Samuel Pepys Collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge, vol. I, p. 13, 4 leaves from the calendar with historiated borders (February, June, August, September), and 1 with a foliate border (September) in the Free Library of Philadelphia, Lewis E. M. II 19-22v, and 12 detached full page miniatures: Job, Pentecost and Annunciation from the collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Add. 35254, ff. T, U, V, Luke, Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Ms. 8999, Betrayal of the Christ, Paris, Musée Marmottan, Wildenstein Collection, Visitation, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, No. K 2407, Nativity, London Victoria and Albert Museum, No. E. 949-2003, Adoration of the Magi, the Musée du Louvre, No. RF 53030, Flight into Egypt, London, Private Collection, and Louis XII in Prayer, Presentation in the Temple, Bathsheba Bathing in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79a, 79b, 79. (for the reconstruction of the content, see Backhouse 1973, p. 96).
Select bibliography W. R. Tymms and M. D. Wyatt, The Art of Illuminating as Practised in Europe from the Earliest Times (London: Day and Sons, 1860; repr. Studio Editions, 1987), pls XVI.3-4, 7.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), I, p. 62.

Janet Backhouse, 'Bourdichon's 'Hours of Henry VII', British Library Quarterly, 38 (1973), 95-102.

Milton Mac Gatch, 'John Bagford as a Collector and Disseminator of Manuscript Fragments', The Library, Sixth Series, 7 (1985), 95-114 (p. 111).

Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts: Treasures from the British Library, ed. by Thomas Kren (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1983), p. 163, fig. 21a.

François Avril and Nicole Reynaud, Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France 1440-1520 (Paris: Flammarion, 1993), p. 295 [exhibition catalogue, with further bibliography].

A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII, ed. by Thomas Kren and Mark Evans with essays by Janet Backhouse, Thomas Kern, Nancy Turner and Mark Evans (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005), pp. 9, 16, 81-82 f. I.15.

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Foliate border

f. 13
Foliate border
Foliate border

f. 13v
Foliate border

ff. 37v-38

f. 37v

f. 38

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