Anne of Britanny’s Book of Hours

The magnificent reproduction in chromolithography of Anne of Brittany’s Book of Hours, illustrated with 478 pages in colours.

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Anne of Brittany’s Book of Hours ‘traduit du latin et accompagné de notices inédites par M. l’Abbé Delaunay’. Paris, L. Curmer, 1841 [but 1861].

2 parts bound in 2 large volumes 4to [330 x 234 mm] complete despite a slightly irregular collation: I/ (2) ll., 12 pp., (2) ll., pp. 6 and 7, pp. 34 to 37, 40 to 47, 50 to 221, 224 to 237, 240 to 474, (1) p., 49 pp., (1) bl.p., (7) pp. of index, (5) pp.; II/ (478) pp. (1 volume of text printed in black and red and 1 volume of illustrations). Bound in full jansenist red morocco binding, covers decorated with monograms at the corners and arms in the centre, spines ribbed decorated with fleurs-de-lis, green watered silk doublures and endleaves, wide inner gilt border, gilt edges. Binding signed by Petit.

First edition and first issue of this magnificent reproduction in chromolithography of Anne of Brittany’s Book of hours, executed by Curmer. Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur de livres du XIXe siècle, V, 335-338; Bulletin Morgand et Fatout, 8857; Brunet, III, 1119 and supp. I, 880.

« This work is composed of two volumes, one of translations and notes, the other of the reproduction in colour of the original manuscript… The Book of hours of the Queen Anne of Brittany was published in 50 parts at the cost of 15 fr. for the first 600 subscribers and of 20 fr. for the 250 following ones. 850 copies of the book were printed. The 1st part bears the date of April 19th, 1859, the 50th, the one of August 19th, 1861. » (Vicaire)

« Remarkable work, reproduction in chromolithography of the original manuscript. » (Morgand and Fatout)

« Exact reproduction of a manuscript famous for the beauty of its miniatures. 850 copies were published, in fifty parts, each composed of a miniature and of eight pages of text in Latin and French. Price of the part: 15fr. The first one was published on April 19th, 1859, and the last one in September 1861. The original manuscript is composed of 480 pp. divided as follows: 49 miniatures, 17 large frames, 33 half frames, 282 strips, 12 pp. of calendars, 2 pp. of monograms and initials, 85 white pp. » (Brunet).

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The magnificent volume of illustration is composed of 478 pages executed in chromolithography, including 49 coloured full-page miniatures, each placed in the center of a black frame, as well as many vegetal frames forming an absolute herbarium.

Anne of Brittany’s Book of Hours was one of the most beautiful jewels of the French illumination. Dated 1508 and executed on the request of the Queen Anne of Brittany, this book, in addition to the religious content that we find in any book of hours, contains a herbarium constituting the bases of the illumination of the work. It gives an outline of the plants and flowers that you could find at this time but also to admire the work of two exceptional illuminators: Jean Bourdichon and Jean Poyet.

A very fine copy of this sumptuous work printed in 850 copies, which is rarely found complete with the two volumes uniformly contemporary bound. The present work was contemporary bound by Petit who placed on the covers the arms of Anne of Brittany and of Louis XII.

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