Paris: Guillaume Anabat for Germain Hardouyn, 1 October 1505 (Almanac for 1505–1520).
Octavo. Printed on vellum. Collation: a–n8 o4: 108 ff., unnumbered. Blackletter type. Large Hardouyn device on title-page (Renouard 434; Nettekoven p. 135, no. 223); Hardouyn’s Planetary Man cut; three large cuts (St. John with the Poisoned Cup, The Betrayal of Christ, and The Holy Trinity with the Church and its four Cardinal Virtues; Zöhl p. 174); twelve mid-size cuts (The Life of Christ; Nettekoven pp. 122–123, no. 211–222); 26 smaller cuts of saints and biblical subjects; a small cut of the crucifixion on the final leaf; each page printed within an elaborate multi-block border, sometimes incorporating letterpress captions. 194 x 124 mm. Decorated throughout; the larger initials illuminated with floral decoration in gold and colors; rubricated with the small initials and line-fillers supplied in gold on red or blue grounds; the arms on Hardouyn’s device painted over with an unidentified coat of arms; the borders on a1r and a2v colored (early, but later than the illumination and rubrication). Early recipe for a rhubarb-based purgative in manuscript on a rear endleaf. binding: Later sixteenth century calf over paste boards elaborately tooled in gilt, triple fillet border, large strapwork and arabesque cornerpieces, large strapwork and arabesque centerpiece with two lion’s heads and a blank central oval, in between a semé of fleurons, spine with five raised double bands, the compartments tooled with azured ovals and vines; two pairs of ties (now lacking); three vellum endleaves at front and rear (including the pastedowns).
COLOPHON: Ces presentes heures a lusaige de Romme furent acheuees le premier iour de Octobre Lan Mil cinq cens et cinq. Par Guillaume Anabat imprimeur demourant a Paris en la rue sainct Jehan de Beauuais pres les escolles du decret a lenseigne des connis. Pour Germain Hardouin libraire demourant empres la grant porte du palais a limage sai[n]cte Marguerite..
An unsophisticated copy of this handsome book of hours, the earliest dated production of Anabat’s press.
Anabat was a native of Brittany; his press was active in Paris between 1505 and 1510. All of the books that he printed were done for other publishers; the vast majority were books of hours printed for the brothers Gilles and Germain Hardouyn, who specialized in the production and sale of horae.
The metalcuts that illustrate this edition are the work of two distinct hands. The twelve smaller cuts depicting the life of Christ are copies based on a set that was produced for Thielman Kerver and Georg Wolff c. 1497; they were first used by the Hardouyn brothers in 1503. They have been attributed to the Master of the Très Petites Heures d’Anne de Bretagne, also known as the Master of the Apocalypse Rose of the Sainte-Chapelle; this artist has been tentatively identified as Jean d’Ypres, the son of Colin d’Amiens (See Caroline Zöhl’s article in the 2007 festschrift for François Avril Quand la peinture était dans les livres). He produced many designs for the illustration of books of hours in the period 1480–1510; he is also responsible for a small number of manuscripts, as well as some celebrated designs for tapestries. The three large cuts that start the volume, however, are the work of Jean Pichore, who was active in Paris c. 1500–1520. His illustrations, in the renaissance style, replaced the gothic designs of the Master of the Apocalypse Rose of the Sainte-Chapelle as the dominant mode in the illustration of Paris books of hours; this volume captures that transition perfectly, with the more refined and sophisticated Pichore blocks standing in counterpoint to the slightly stiff cuts of the earlier master. (The artist responsible for the Planetary Man cut, which had appeared in earlier Hardouyn books of hours, has not been identified.)
This edition exists in two quite distinct states. In one, each page is printed within an elaborate composite border made up of numerous small blocks and sometimes incorporating letterpress captions; our copy is an example of this state. In the other, the text and illustrations are printed entirely without borders, with the exception of the colophon leaf, which has the same architectural border in both states. A copy of the state without borders is at Penn State; it has been digitized, and can be seen online at Lehigh University’s Digital Library of Illuminated Manuscripts. It is unclear at this point which state has priority, or whether one is more common than the other.
PROVENANCE: Unidentified arms on title-page – Georges Quesnoy (early inscription on rear endleaf ) – several other early ownership inscriptions, now largely illegible, on endleaves.
CONDITION: Leaves a1r and o4v rather rubbed, with some loss; some occasional soiling and staining; the vellum at times somewhat cockled. The boards slightly warped; extremities a bit rubbed; rear hinge cracked. Despite these flaws, still a pleasing and unsophisticated copy.
REFERENCES: Bohatta 807; Moreau 1505 85; Renouard 50; Tenschert & Nettekoven 65-67 (Heribert Tenschert & Ina Nettekoven, Horae B.M.V.: 158 Stundenbuchdrucke der Sammlung Bibermühle, 1490-1550, Rottalmünster, 2003); see also Ina Nettekoven, Der Meister der Apocalypsenrose der Sainte Chapelle und die Pariser Buchkunst um 1500 (Turnhout, 2004), and Caroline Zöhl, Jean Pichore: Buchmaler, Graphiker und Verleger in Paris um 1500 (Turnhout, 2004). Copies: Bibl. Mazarine; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Paris (the Dutuit copy, incomplete); John Rylands Library; Museo Civico, Pavia; Tresoar, Leeuwarden; Williams College; the Morgan Library; Princeton; Penn State; the Newberry Library (incomplete); the University of Kansas; the Huntington Library; the Bibermühle collection (three copies).