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"Heures a l'usaige de Rome" 1503 Parisian Book of Hours Printed on Vellum by Gilles Hardouyn and lavishly hand illuminated

"Heures a l'usaige de Rome" 1503 Parisian Book of Hours Printed on Vellum by Gilles Hardouyn and lavishly hand illuminated

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1503 Parisian Book of Hours Printed on Vellum by Gilles Hardouyn

“Heures a l'usaige de Rome”

Anthoine Chappiel pour Gilles Hardouyn (Hardouin) (?1455 - ?1529)

Printed in Paris on 24th November 1503

Printed on VELLUM with contemporary HAND ILLUMINATION from the Workshop of Hardouin. Large border copy.

Books of hours were printed in various formats at this time: on paper, on vellum with some heightening of text, and on vellum with fine red, blue and gold illumination of text and illustrations. This is the most luxurious format of the books - printed on vellum and with full hand illumination from the workshop of Hardouin.

6 large and 31 small illuminated illustrations are included in the text. The large and small illustrations are lavishly illuminated in gold and delicately highlighted in colour by a contemporary hand. The large illustrations have several further miniature decorative illustrations and are surrounded by acanthus floral borders.

Collation: 86 (of 96 leaves) only. Large 8vo (215 x 135mm) with particularly wide margins. Signatures A8-M8 (Missing 10 leaves including the title and several large miniatures).  Text in Latin and French, Gothic type, 32 lines.

Contents include an Almanac for the years 1497-1520, a calendar, The passion according to St John, The hours of the Virgin, the Seven Penitential psalms, the Office of the Dead, Prayers for saint days and other important prayers including Obsecro Te, O Intemerata, and Stabat Mater.

Condition Minor wear to binding and some marks to Vellum leaves. Some small losses to text (?early) with replacement by hand. Later 19th Century worn rd velvet binding with wear and significant losses at hinges. Large pages with wide margins. Staining to vellum of first and last few leaves. 

This is an early printed Book of Hours (Horae) from the Workshop of Gilles Hardouyn (Hardouin). Hardouin was the foremost producer of books of hours in Paris at the time, and was active from the late 1490s until the mid 1540s. This is a very early Book from his workshop. Many well known individuals, including Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, owned a book of hours from his workshop. Chappiel printed only three Books of Hours for Hardouin from 1500 to 1504, so editions from his press are uncommon. Giles Hardouin would go on to publish several further editions with his brother, Germain Hardouyn (Hardouin). This edition was published on 24th November 1503. Another edition of this text was published on the same day - it had engraved borders around the text, but was not designed for illumination. ( Tenschert et Iettekoven, I, n° 38 et 39)

Illumination: The images in this copy are particularly finely illuminated and must have been executed for a high end client. The illumination resembles the format that was commonly used in manuscript books of hours around this time. There is extensive use of liquid gold and all illuminations have several extra borders including floral acanthus decoration surrounding the illuminated engravings. This copy is an early Hardouyn, and was illuminated before the more standardised "workshop" illumination format developed. The illumination differs from the usual style found in Hardouin copies from 1510s, and especially the 1520s onwards.

As with all early printed books of hours the number of surviving copies is low. ( Tenschert et Iettekoven, I, n° 38 et 39).  USTC (16089) states that there are 4 copies of this book only: 2 in Paris (Bibliotheque National and Beçanson) and 2 in the USA (Morgan Library and Texas University). 

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