Illumination on vellum from the Ghistelles Hours. South West Flanders, 



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Recto with two-line initial, the infill with a grotesque's head, and three-quarter bar-border terminating in a man's head and an animal's head in gold, the latter with its open jaws around the tail of the large white hare in the margin

Size of leaf: 115 x 80mm (text: 62 x 46mm). 11 lines of text in two sizes, rubrics in red.

A leaf from one of the earliest Flemish Books of Hours, and most likely illuminated for John III Ghistelles (d.1315) and his wife Margaret of Luxembourg. Another leaf from this manuscript appeared in our Bulletin no. 6 (item 3) and showed a figure bearing the arms of the family (gules, a chevron, spotted ermine: or, a lion sable). The already incomplete manuscript, identified by Rosy Schilling as having once belonged to Sir Sydney Cockerell, was broken up in the 1950s and sold through Heinrich Eisemann. Leaves are now dispersed in public and private collections (see C. de Hamel in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in New Zealand Collections , 1989, pp.91-2).

The Calendar (now at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore) points to the diocese of Tournai and includes a list of markets in Bruges, St. Trond, Lille and Messime, and it has tables for calculating Easter made out for several years from 1300 onwards; presumably, therefore, the book was made in 1299 or 1300.


The present leaf, opening Lesson ii from matins in the Office of the Dead ('Tedet animam meam...'), does not appear to have been published.

Stock Code: 224973

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