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Detailed record for Harley 2952

Title Book of Hours
Origin France, Central (Paris? or Bourges?)
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language French, with some rubrics in Latin
Script Gothic
Artists This is the eponymous manuscript of the Master of the Madonnas of Humility (see Meiss The Late XIV Century (1967)
Decoration 3 diptychs of full-page miniatures with foliate borders, in colours and gold, inserted as a separate quire after the calendar (ff. 18v-21). 37 full-page miniatures in semi-grisaille against coloured backgrounds, with large or small decorated initials, often on the following page with a partial border when the miniature is placed at the bottom of the page, and full foliate borders in colours and gold, for major text divisions (ff. 22, 23, 23v, 24v, 25, 26, 26v, 27v, 32v, 35, 39, 49, 57, 61, 62v, 67, 71, 76v, 82, 86v, 95, 102v, 112v, 115, 119v, 121, 122v, 124, 126, 134v, 146v, 150, 153, 156, 159, 163, 165). 1 small miniature in semi-grisaille, with a small decorated initial and full foliate borders in colours and gold, for Prime in the Hours of the Virgin (f. 142v). Small initials and line-fillers in gold on red and blue grounds. Space for initial (f. 1). Capital letters highlighted in yellow.
Dimensions in mm 180 x 125 (95 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 179 (+ 4 unfoliated original parchment leaves after f. 5, 2 after f. 17, 2 after f. 21, and 1 after f. 164; + 3 paper and 1 parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment, 1 parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Harleian binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers; gilt and gauffered edges.
Provenance Unidentified owners, represented by their portraits, each in prayer in front of the Virgin and Child (ff. 18v-20), followed by their saints Anthony and George.
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 '18 die Januarij, A.D. 1723/4.' (f. 1). 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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II, no. 2952.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 13.

[J. A. Herbert], British Museum: Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series 2, 3rd edn (London: British Museum, 1923), pls 27-28.

Eric Millar, Souvenir de l’Exposition de Manuscrits Français à Peintures organisée à la Grenville Library (British Museum) in Janvier-Mars 1932 (Paris: Société Française de Reproductions de Manuscrits à Peintures, 1933), no. 48.

Millard Meiss, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Late XIV Century and the Patronage of the Duke, 2 vols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1967), I, 276-77, 327-28, II, figs. 270, 273-75.

Millard Meiss, with Sharon Off Dunlap Smith and Elizabeth Home Beaton, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and Their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), I, 393.

Pierre Rézeau, Répertoire d'incipit des prières françaises à la fin du Moyen Âge: addenda et corrigenda aux répertoires de Sonet et Sinclair; Nouveaux incipit, Publications romanes et françaises, 174 (Geneva: Droz, 1986), p. 465.

Janet Backhouse, Illumination from Books of Hours (London: British Library, 2004), fig. 31.

Virginia Reinburg, French Books of Hours: Making an Archive of Prayer, c. 1400-1600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 246.


Images
* * *
 
Virgin and Child

ff. 18v-19
Virgin and Child
Owner portrait

f. 18v
Owner portrait
Virgin and Child

f. 19
Virgin and Child
 
Virgin and Child

f. 19
Virgin and Child
Patron and Virgin and Child

ff. 19v-20
Patron and Virgin and Child
Patron miniature

f. 19v
Patron miniature
 
Patroness and Virgin and Child

ff. 19v-20
Patroness and Virgin and Child
Patroness

f. 19v
Patroness
Prayerbook

f. 19v
Prayerbook
 
Virgin and Child

f. 20
Virgin and Child
Virgin and Child

f. 20
Virgin and Child
Anthony

f. 20v
Anthony
 
George

f. 21
George
Betrayal of Christ

f. 22
Betrayal of Christ
Christ before Pilate

f. 23
Christ before Pilate
 
The Flagellation

f. 23v
The Flagellation
Christ on the road to Calvary

f. 24v
Christ on the road to Calvary
Crucifixion

f. 25
Crucifixion
 
Deposition of Christ

f. 26
Deposition of Christ
Resurrected Christ

f. 26v
Resurrected Christ
Crucifixion

f. 27v
Crucifixion
 
Trinity

f. 32v
Trinity
Christ in Majesty

f. 35
Christ in Majesty
Christ

f. 39
Christ
 
Crucifixion

f. 49
Crucifixion
Priest

f. 57
Priest
Christ

f. 61
Christ
 
God

f. 62v
God
God

f. 62v
God
Virgin and Child

f. 67
Virgin and Child
 
Virgin and Child

f. 71v
Virgin and Child
Virgin and Child

f. 76v
Virgin and Child
Virgin and Child

f. 82
Virgin and Child
 
Virgin and Child

f. 86v
Virgin and Child
 Virgin and Child

f. 95
Virgin and Child
Jerome

f. 102v
Jerome
 
Virgin and Child

f. 112v
Virgin and Child
Virgin and Child

f. 115
Virgin and Child
Luke

f. 119v
Luke
 
John

f. 121
John
Matthew

f. 122v
Matthew
Mark

f. 124
Mark
 
Annunciation

f. 126
Annunciation
Annunciation

f. 126
Annunciation
Visitation

f. 134v
Visitation
 
Nativity

f. 142v
Nativity
Nativity

f. 142v
Nativity
Annunciation to the Shepherds

f. 146v
Annunciation to the Shepherds
 
Adoration of the Magi

f. 150
Adoration of the Magi
Presentation in the Temple

f. 153
Presentation in the Temple
Flight into Egypt

f. 156
Flight into Egypt
 
Coronation of the Virgin

f. 159
Coronation of the Virgin
Christopher

f. 163
Christopher
David

f. 165
David
 

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