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Monastic prayerbook, almost certainly for the use of the Augustinians of Utrecht, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum
fifteenth century]
€10.000 - €14.000

"(103 x 65 mm), 152 leaves of vellum (plus 2 modern vellum endleaves at front, and one at back, and 2 original endleaves at front and one at back: the first and last of the original endleaves with marks showing they were once the pastedowns of an earlier binding), apparently complete, single column of 20 lines of a square and angular late gothic bookhand, capitals touched in red, one-line initials in red or blue, 2-line initials in same with contrasting penwork often picking out foliate shapes in borders, larger initials in variegated red and blue with coloured penwork and blank vellum spaces left with their bodies, four leaves with large illuminated initials (fols. 58r, 82r, 88r and 110r) in thin coloured acanthus leaves enclosing vivid foliage on angular edged gold grounds, each of these with full border of acanthus leaves and other coloured foliage and fruit on a ground of gold bezants and hairline tendrils, the whole decorated border within a thin gold frame, two historiated initials in same (fols. 18r and 47r), enclosing the Virgin and Child and King David in prayer, slightly trimmed at edges (with some losses to gold frames of border decoration and occasionally the borders themselves), a few spots and stains, else good condition ; in 19th-century brown morocco over pasteboards, profusely gilt-tooled inside edges of boards, gilt-burgundy printed doublures. Text: The book comprises: a Calendar (fol. 1r); the Hours of the Virgin, with Matins (fol. 18r), Lauds (fol. 22v), Terce (fol. 31r), Sext (fol. 33r), Nones (fol. 35r), Vespers (fol. 37r) and Compline (fol. 42r); the Penitential Psalms (fol. 42r), with a Litany and prayers; the Office of the Dead (fol. 59r); the Hours of the Cross (fol. 82r); the 'Centum meditaciones passionis domini' (fol. 88r); and a series of indulgence prayers offering the user forgiveness for 12,370 days in purgatory (fol. 110r), and entitled 'De sequenti oratione bernardi te stribiuit [sic] sic Urbanus papa quintus dedit duodecim milia trecentos lxx dies indulgentiarum', followed by similar prayers ascribed to St. Gregory (fol. 122rv) and Pope Calixtus (fol. 123v), a reading from the Gospel of John XII (fol. 126v), Pope Boniface VIII (fol. 126v), St. Ambrose (fol. 127v), and other prayers principally to the Virgin and the Church fathers"

"Provenance: 1. Almost certainly written and illuminated for use by the Augustinians of Utrecht: a 19th-century pencil note on a modern endleaf states this (and may well have been copying this information from a heavily erased and unreadable 4-line inscription on the original front endleaf). Certainly, the Calendar is consistent with this, with St. Augustine named as ""patris nostri"" on 28 August, and both his translatio in February and October present. In the Litany he is the only saint to have his name begin with a capital letter touched in red. The inclusion of SS. Frederick on 18 July and Willibrord on 7 November, both bishops of Utrecht, indicate the use of the book there. 2. A. Renaud, book collector of Lyon: his 19th-century printed bookplate, and most probably in his binding. 3. Subsequently in the booktrade in Denmark: with a clipping from a 19th- or early 20th-century book catalogue"