Folio from the Chester Beatty Hours Dated 1408


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PRICE: $1800


The Chester Beatty Hours. Single folio on vellum. France (Paris), dated 1408. 175 mm x 132 mm (justification, 96 mm x 60 mm). Single column, 15 lines. The number “60” appears in modern pen in the lower right-hand margin of the verso. This exceptionally famous manuscript was illuminated by one of the greatest Parisian masters of the early fifteenth century, the Mazarine Master. A colophon in the original stated that the manuscript was completed in 1408, “when the bridges of Paris fell.” The book subsequently belonged to a London jeweler named John Boykett Jarman whose basement library flooded in 1846. The manuscript was damaged by the water penetration visible on our leaf; sold by Sotheby’s, 13 June 1864, lot 47. Owned later by Edward Arnold and sold by Sotheby’s on 6 May 1929, lot 240 to Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (d. 1968), who dismantled the manuscript. Beatty was an American mining magnate who renounced his citizenship and relocated to Dublin. The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin preserves some of his manuscripts, chiefly Middle Eastern and Asian examples. Our manuscript comes from a private American collection. Decoration: three three-line dentelle initials; six one-line dentelle initials; elaborate ivy-leaf bar borders in gold and colors; rubricated. Text: the very beginning of the invocation for Sext in the Hours of the Cross, followed by the rest of Sext, followed by the opening for Nones. Condition: as shown, with water-stains and cockling that are part of the manuscript’s intriguing (and sad) history.

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