Traces of use (and a Pilgrim’s badge!) in a well-traveled Book of Hours

Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 12/52

  
Book of Hours, Use of Rome, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, 1945‑65‑11, beginnings and miniatures for suffrages to Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Anthony Abbot, pp. 277 and 279

Last week, we looked at the fanfare-style binding of a dainty yet otherwise apparently relatively unremarkable Book of Hours produced in France in the mid-fifteenth century. Yet the book’s pages actually contains a whole variety of additional clues as to its early use. These seemingly small traces showcase several of the kinds of early ownership information we can sometimes extract when we look closely at a Books of Hours. Amazingly, all of this evidence existed within the book before it was given its current, eye-catchingly tooled binding at the end of the sixteenth century.

   http://openn.library.upenn.edu/Data/0031/1945_65_11/data/web/9139_0295_web.jpg   This is an image of 286 from Philadelphia Museum of Art Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs 1945‑65‑11, Book of Hours, Use of Rome (France, 1445 - 1455).
1945‑65‑11, full-page miniature of Saint Adrian with interlaced initials I-Z and effaced coat-of-arms, p. 286 (with detail)

For example, a full-page miniature on the book’s final page bears a handsome-yet-damaged image of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia (recognizable by his anvil and lion), backed by a cloth-of-honor set within a Gothic architectural space and surrounded by an emblematic border, each bearing the unidentified interlaced initials “I-Z.” A coat-of-arms, unfortunately obliterated, is set below the miniature. This image was likely added to the book in the last two decades of the fifteenth century, either in Northern France or the Netherlands, judging by the general style of the miniature. The specific details of Adrian’s fur-lined cap and armor, the latter painted with powdered silver pigment that has oxidized to black, also point to a date slightly before the year 1500. Note the similarities and differences with this image of Saint Adrian by the Master of Jacques of Luxembourg, dated to between 1466 and 1470.

  This is an image of 262 from Philadelphia Museum of Art Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs 1945‑65‑11, Book of Hours, Use of Rome (France, 1445 - 1455).
1945‑65‑11, end of “Obsecro te” prayer with early ownership inscription, p. 262 (with detail)

On page 262, the book contains a crude, barely decipherable ownership inscription that seems to read: “Votre serviteur Jeanne.” A suffrage to Saint Michael is indicated by a rubric on this page, but it has been excised. Clearly, the book was subject to some modifications early in its lifetime. There are also a number of prayers added to the text by an early, yet not original hand, mostly relating to the Conception of Christ.


1945‑65‑11, inscription referring to Hippolyta Maria, duchess of Calabria, p. 34

Most interesting of all are two details, both on p. 34. In a careful but not necessarily professional hand, in Italian, we read “La nostra cara sorella che ne ama più che si stessa Hippolyta Maria duchessa de Calabria.” If this is an ownership mark, it must refer to either Ippolita Maria Sforza (1446-1484), wife of Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, or her granddaughter, Ippolita Sforza (1493-1501), who died at the tender age of eight while engaged to Ferdinand of Aragón, Duke of Calabria. Is it an autograph signature, however, or is it merely making reference to “our dear sister who loves others more than herself”? More research into the handwriting of these individuals may provide an answer.

This is an image of 34 from Philadelphia Museum of Art Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs 1945‑65‑11, Book of Hours, Use of Rome (France, 1445 - 1455).
1945‑65‑11, outline of sewing holes for a lead or tin pilgrim badge, p. 34 (detail)

But perhaps most remarkably of all, on the lower left side of the same page as the Italian inscription, a faint, bust-shaped mark is visible. This pattern is the outline of sewing holes once used to attach a lead or tin pilgrim’s badge to the page. This practice is attested in other, much more famous books, and it migrated into virtual marginal representations in certain Netherlandish Books of Hours as well.[1] Below are examples of: A), actual pilgrim badges still sewn into the flyleaves of a book; B), multiple offsets of pilgrim badges similar in appearance to ours, and: C), illusionistically painted badges in the border of a so-called Ghent-Bruges style manuscript. Perhaps a detailed look through the Kunera pilgrim badge database will yield some potential candidates for badges that might match our (former) badge in terms of shape and size. As is evident from the pattern left on the page, it consisted of a haloed head and bust, possibly representing Christ. Happy hunting, insignophiles!

https://www.kb.nl/sites/default/files/029getijdenboek2-groot_0_0.jpg
A) Book of Hours, Bruges, c. 1440–1460. The Hague, Royal Library of the Netherlands, 77 L 60, fols. 97v–98r (surviving sewn-in pilgrim badges)


B) Book of Hours, Netherlands, c. 1450–1500. San Marino, Huntington Library, Garrett HM 1136, fol. 1r (offsets from sewn-in pilgrim badges)

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C) Book of Hours of Engelbert of Nassau, Netherlands, c. 1470–1490. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 219, fol. 16v (illusionistic pilgrim badges)


[1] There is an extensive literature on pilgrim badges in Books of Hours. See, with additional bibliography, Megan Foster-Campbell, “Pilgrimage through the Pages: Pilgrims’ Badges in Late Medieval Devotional Manuscripts,” in Push Me, Pull You: Imaginative and Emotional Interaction in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art, edited by Sarah Blick and Laura D. Gelfand (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 227–76; Hanneke Van Asperen, Pelgrimstekens op perkament: Originele en nageschilderde bedevaartssouvenirs in religieuze boeken (c. 1450-c. 1530) (Nijmegen: Nijmegen University Press, 2010); Isabel von Bredow-Klaus, “Heilsrahmen: spirituelle Wallfahrt und Augentrug in der flämischen Buchmalerei des Spätmittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit” (unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Trier, 2003); Kurt Köster, “Gemalte Kollektionen von Pilgerzeichen Und Religiösen Medaillen in Flämischen Gebet- Und Stundenbüchern Des 15. Und Frühen 16. Jahrhunderts: Neue Funde in Handschriften Der Gent-Brügger Schule,” in Liber Amicorum Herman Liebaers, edited by France Vanwijngaerden (Brussels: Crédit Communal de Belgique, 1984), 485–535.

A “fanfare” for a musical printeress in late-sixteenth-century Paris

Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 11/52

  
Book of Hours, Use of Rome, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, 1945‑65‑11, upper and lover covers (with “LUCRECE DU GUE” inscription)

A small mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours now in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PMA 1945-65-11, is housed in a beautifully preserved gilt-tooled à la fanfare binding that can be dated stylistically to the end of the sixteenth century. These distinctive and highly prized bindings are most closely associated with bookbinders working in Paris between about 1570 and 1630, and are identifiable by their geometrical “strapwork” designs, which are usually comprised of ribbons that feature a single gilt line on one side, and a double line on the other.[1] The way that this design cue creates the illusion of relief on the surface of the cover is especially evident here.

This binding is particularly closely related to those associated with Clovis Ève (active between 1583 and 1633), a famous French bookbinder who became the fifth official “relieur du roi” (binder to the King), following the retirement of his father, Nicolas Ève. Clovis served the French Kings Henri III, Henri IV, and Louis XIII, producing some truly spectacular showpiece bindings. Nevertheless, attributions to him of simpler bindings such as ours remain controversial. Still, there are some clear similarities between our binding and others thought to have been made by Ève fils. Compare the layout and shape of the rectangular compartments and semicircular notches along the border with this example from the University of Amsterdam Special Collections Library, described by Pam van Holthe:

  
Le Psaultier, qui est le livre des Pseaumes de David, declarez, par breves annotations & gloses entre les versets [Lyon] : [Jean de Tournes], 1559 (bound with other texts). Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam Special Collections Library, OTM: Band 2 D 12 (1), upper and lower covers

Or this, a less well-preserved specimen from the British Library (which similarly encloses a French Book of Hours):

  
Heures a lusaige de Romme toutes au long. Sans riens requerir. Auec plusieurs suffraiges et orations tāt en latin que en francoys nouuelement Imprimes a paris (Paris: 1521). London, British Library, c41c13, upper and lower covers

But who would have commissioned such an ornate (and costly) binding over a century after this book was produced? The answer is provided by medallions found at the centers of the upper and lower covers on our book, which contain the letters “LUCRECE” and “DU GUE” respectively. This first and last name is undoubtedly identifiable with the noted printeress Lucrèce Dugué (1544–1615), daughter of Perrette Edinthon and Jean Dugué (the French King’s organist).[2] As the widow of Robert I Ballard (c. 1525–1588) and mother of Pierre I Ballard (c. 1580–1636), Dugué continued her husband’s printing firm, which had the monopoly on all forms of musical printing at the time. During the last decades of her lifetime, she continued to run the family shop located at the sign of Mount Parnassus on the Rue Saint-Jean de Beauvais, right in the heart of the Parisian book trade. It is, of course, unsurprising that such a well-connected figure would have had access to the services of a prestigious binding workshop, even for a personal devotional book. But it is likewise interesting that the owner of a firm so invested in the technology of print would opt to embellish a manuscript Book of Hours which must have appeared dated at the time. However, as we have seen with other sixteenth-century owners, the cachet of beautiful manuscripts remained strong, well into the age of moveable type!

Not wanting to judge a book exclusively by its cover, next week we’ll look more closely at some of the earlier evidence of use found within this book.

http://openn.library.upenn.edu/Data/0031/1945_65_11/data/web/9139_0304_web.jpg   http://openn.library.upenn.edu/Data/0031/1945_65_11/data/web/9139_0305_web.jpg   http://openn.library.upenn.edu/Data/0031/1945_65_11/data/web/9139_0306_web.jpg   http://openn.library.upenn.edu/Data/0031/1945_65_11/data/web/9139_0307_web.jpg
1945‑65‑11, view of spine, fore-edge, head, and tail


[1] For à la fanfare bindings, see Anthony Hobson, “Three Bindings à la Fanfare and the Origins of the Fanfare Style,” in The Arcadian Library: Bindings and Provenance, edited by Giles Mandelbrote and Willem de Bruijn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 177–192; José Ruysschaert, “Les reliures ‘a la fanfare’ des collections vaticanes,” Bulletin de la Société des Bibliophiles de Guyenne (July–December 1967): 161–203; and Geoffrey D. Hobson, Les reliures à la fanfare: le problème de l’s fermé (Amsterdam: Gérard Th. van Heusden, 1970;original edition 1935).

[2] See Roméo Arbour, Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France, 1470–1870 (Geneva: Droz, 2003), 50, s.v. “Ballard”; Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 2 (London, Macmillan, 1980), 83.