Heures Nouvelles


Outstanding book of Hours

Outstanding book of Hours illuminated and enhanced with gold and silver, made for the wedding of a French couple in February 1883.

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HEURES NOUVELLES. Paris, 20th of February 1883.

Small square 8vo [154 x 120 mm] of (2) ll., clxxxii pp., (8), mounted on guards. Text printed on each page inside a very decorative hand-painted border. Bound in full brown morocco finely decorated with gilt fillets and fleurons, front cover decorated with a central enamel painted medallion representing the Adoration of the Magi, spine ribbed and finely decorated, gilt signature Gruel at the foot of the spine, gilt initials “G.B.B.L.” stamped in the central oval of the lower cover, two pierced metal clasps at the fore-edge, edges gilt and gauffered with the inscription Gloria in Excelsis Deo repeated twice, red velvet endleaves and doublures, gilt inner border. Binding signed Gruel.

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Very beautiful book of Hours specially made for Georges Berthier and Berthe Laurent’s wedding, celebrated on the 20th of February 1883 at the Ferte-Vidame.

The 96 printed leaves of this book of Hours are each decorated with a superb hand-painted border around the text, illuminated at the time, with many gold and silver highlights. Each of the 188 ornamental borders is different and presents a very finely executed setting: religious scenes (with the Annunciation, the Virgin and Child, angels, Jesus Christ carrying his cross …), animal or floral patterns, landscapes, various geometrical patterns … In addition to the frontispiece, the illustration comprises 14 full-page plates that represent the Crucifixion, the Annunciation, the Presentation at the Temple, the Adoration of the Magi, the Nativity, the Annunciation to the shepherds … The text is composed of a black, red and blue typography with on all the pages a different border in chromolithography and gold. This copy has the plates, the decorated letters and the borders all colored and enhanced with gold in the manner of the medieval illuminations.

This book of Hours was engraved by Moulin from P. Engelmann and painted by E. Moreau.

An extraordinary fine copy of a unique book of Hours entirely illuminated and enhanced with gold and preserved in an exquisite binding made on the occasion of the wedding of a French couple in 1883.

Provenance: Georges Berthier and Berthe Laurent.

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