BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 390 Paris, s. XIV^^2/4, XIV^^3/4
Savoy Hours (fragment)
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
ff. 1r-26v Suffrages to: (f. 1r-v) John the Evangelist, James the Greater,
All Apostles, All Evangelists (rubric only); (f. 2r-v) Trinity, Angels;
(f. 3r-v) Martyrs, Louis IX, King of France; (f. 4r-v) Antony abbot, Julian of
Brioude, Leonard, Louis IX, King of France (rubric only); (f. 5r-v) Long Hours
of Angels (end of Sext and part of None only); (f. 6r-v) Andrew, James the
Greater; (f. 7r-v) Benedict, All Confessors; (f. 8r-v) Mary Magdalen, Catharine
of Alexandria; (f. 9r-v) Margaret, All Virgins; (f. 10r-v) All Saints, for
peace; (f. 11r-v) All Apostles, John the Evangelist; (f. 12r-v) Long Hours of
Angels (end of None, beginning of Vespers); (f. 13r-v) Silvester, Augustine;
(f. 14r-v) Martin, Remigius; (f. 15r-v) Eligius, Antony abbot; (f. 16r-v)
Leonard, Gregory; (f. 17r-v) Romaric, Agnes; (f. 18r-v) Agatha, Cecilia;
(f. 19r-v) Lucy, Ursula; (f. 20r-v) Elisabeth, Genevieve; (f. 21r-v)
Gertrude, Barbara; (f. 22r-v) Clara, for the pope and prelates; (f. 23r-v)
for the king and princes, for those who work the soil; (f. 24r-v) for those who
give alms, for family and friends; (f. 25r-v) for oneself (...me famulam
tuam...), for the souls of the dead; (f. 26r-v) Peter martyr (a suffrage
beginning defectively?), Joys of the Virgin: Gaude virgo mater christi que per
aurem concepisti...[followed by the prayer:] Deus qui beatissimam virginem
mariam in conceptu et partu...[both in HE, 63-64].
Parchment, iii (parchment) + 26 + iii (parchment). 201 x 147 (135 x 85) mm.,
greatly trimmed. Written in 26 long lines. Single vertical and upper
horizontal bounding lines, full length and full across. Ruled in light
Written in gothic bookhand; ff. 1r, 1v, 4r, and 4v added in the third quarter
of the fourteenth century by Jean L'Avenant, who has been identified
by P. de Winter, "The Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy:
The Copyist Jean L'Avenant and His Patrons at the French Court," Speculum 57 (1982)
pp. 802-03, fig. 20 (f. 6r) and fig. 21 (f. 4r), as the scribe of three other
manuscripts: a Bible historiale, Hamburg, Kunsthalle MS Fr. 1
(two volumes); the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam
Museum MS 3-1954; and the Prayerbook of Philip the Bold, Brussels,
Bibliotheque Royale, MS 11035-37.
The twenty-six folios are the only fragment known to remain of the Book of
Hours of Blanche of Burgundy (d. 1348), Countess of Savoy and granddaughter of
Saint Louis of France, which was
executed in Paris in the atelier of Jean Pucelle. The manuscript received
additional texts and miniatures in the third quarter of the fourteenth century,
when it was owned by Charles V, King of France, 1364-80. The Yale fragment
contains fifty of the original two hundred and fifty-five miniatures, the
majority executed between Pucelle's death in 1334 and Blanche's death in 1348,
the remainder between ca. 1370 and 1378, the terminus ante quem being the
death of Charles's wife, Jeanne de Bourbon, represented on one of the destroyed
leaves. The Pucellian miniatures are most closely related to the work of
Hands 1-3 in the Hours of Jeanne II, Queen of Navarre (Paris, B. N.
n. a. lat. 3145), and other manuscripts by the same artists: the Proces de
Robert d'Artois (Paris, B. N. fr. 18437), Paris 1336, and two compilations of
the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Florence, Biblioteca Laurenziana Fiesole 89
and Rome, Vatican Library, MS Vat. lat. 744, produced in Paris in 1343 for the
Dominican Parisius de Dyna. The added miniatures can be compared with the
Bible of Jean de Sy (Paris, B. N. fr. 15397). See Exhibition Catalogue,
pp. 209-210, no. 35, pl. 15 of f. 2r; Les fastes du Gothique: le siecle
de Charles V (Paris, 1981-82) no. 265, pp. 312-14; F. Avril, La librairie
de Charles V (Paris, 1968) no. 174, p. 100. Most recently, P. de Winter,
op. cit., p. 803, associates them with a copy of Aristotle, Ethics,
Brussels, Bib. Roy. MS 9505-06. All of the miniatures are in tricolor
quatrefoils, the first, earlier set against pink or blue grounds with white
filigree, gold frames and gold leaves on hair-line stems, the later miniatures
with the grounds in pink or blue imitation relief. The subjects are as follow
(miniatures added for Charles V on ff. 1r-v, 4r-v): f. 1r St. John the
Evangelist, Calling of St. James; f. 1v All Apostles; f. 2r Throne of mercy;
Blanche of Savoy kneeling in prayer; ground with arms of Burgundy and France; f. 2v
Angels; f. 3r Execution of three martyrs; f. 3v St. Louis IX, King of France,
with Blanche praying; f. 4r St. Antony abbot, with Charles V kneeling in prayer;
St. Julian of Brioude and companions in a ship; f. 4v St. Leonard with two
prisoners; f. 5r Guardian angels with soldiers in battle; f. 6r St. Andrew, with
Blanche praying; f. 6v St. James the Greater, with Blanche praying; f. 7r
St. Benedict, with Blanche praying; f. 7v All Confessors; f. 8r St. Mary
Magdalen, with Blanche praying; f. 8v St. Catharine of Alexandria, with Blanche
praying; f. 9r St. Margaret; f. 9v All Virgins; f. 10r All Saints; f. 10v Pax
with priest at altar, Blanche attending; f. 11r All Apostles; f. 11v St. John
the Evangelist, with Blanche praying; f. 12v Temptation of Christ; f. 13r St.
Silvester, with Blanche praying; f. 13v St. Augustine, with Blanche praying;
f. 14r St. Martin; f. 14v St. Remigius, with Blanche praying; f. 15r St.
Eligius, with Blanche praying; f. 15v St. Antony Abbot, with Blanche praying;
f. 16r St. Leonard with two prisoners; f. 16v St. Gregory, with Blanche praying;
f. 17r St. Romaric, with Blanche praying; f. 17v Martyrdom of St. Agnes; f. 18r
St. Agatha (badly damaged); f. 18v St. Cecilia with Blanche [?] crowned with
wreaths by two angels; f. 19r St. Lucy, with Blanche praying; f. 19v St.
Ursula, with Blanche praying; f. 20r Visitation; f. 20v St. Genevieve and
angel preventing devil from blowing out candle, with Blanche praying; f. 21r
St. Gertrude, with Blanche praying; f. 21v St. Barbara, with Blanche praying;
f. 22r St. Clara, with Blanche praying; f. 22v Pope and prelates; f. 23r King
and princes; f. 23v Three men pruning, hoeing and delving; f. 24r Almsgiving;
f. 24v Blanche praying before altar with large gold Calvary; f. 25r Blanche
praying before altar with large gold Calvary; f. 25v Angels carrying souls from
Each folio with a 3/4 bar border, sometimes detached from initial, pink, blue
and gold with ivy terminals, or a single bar with ivy attached to initial, in inner
margin; some with grotesque terminals, and birds and hunters in the margins and
bas-de-page. 2-line initials, with heads, ivy, the arms of Savoy (ff. 2r, 14r,
18v, etc.) or the arms of Burgundy (f. 3v); blue or pink with white highlights
on gold grounds. 1-line initials, blue or gold with red or black penwork.
Line endings, red, blue and gold, on ff. 1 and 4 only. Rubrics throughout.
Binding: s. xviii. Red-brown sheepskin heavily gold-tooled with floral
borders and corner fans, the center filled in with a circle made up of fan
Written and illuminated in the atelier of Jean Pucelle in Paris, probably ca.
1334-40 (see above), for Blanche of Burgundy, Countess of Savoy (d. 1348;
arms on ff. 2r, 9r, 14r, etc.). Supplemented ca. 1370-78 with texts and
miniatures commissioned by Charles V, King of France (1364-80). The codex of
which MS 390 is a fragment was given by his heir, Charles VI (1380-1422) to
Jean, duke of Berry on 7 July 1409 (note by Jean Flamel, secretary and
librarian of the Duc de Berry, recorded from the other part of the manuscript,
Turin, Bibl. Naz. MS E. V. 49, which was destroyed by fire in 1904). The duke
of Berry may have given the complete manuscript away soon after he acquired it;
it does not appear in his inventory of 1413. Leaves comprising MS 390 may
have been removed after the Hours were given to the University Library of
Turin by Count Victor-Amadeus II of Savoy in 1720 (see the argument in
Exhibition Catalogue, p. 209). MS 390 was donated by John Virtue, first
Bishop of Portsmouth (d. 1900; signature on f. i recto) to the Catholic
Episcopal Library of Portsmouth Cathedral (bookplates of Virtue and Cahill
Library of Portsmouth Cathedral, with number 8429). Library was dispersed in
1941 and the manuscript was preserved in the Presbytery at Winchester. Letter
to Herman W. Liebert, Director of the Beinecke Library, dated 28 July 1971, from
William Fletcher states: "I have just had lunch with Father Bernard Fisher
and he was surprised that he had never told me of the burglary in the
Presbytery at Winchester two days after I first found the precious fragment.
As you know the books had been at the Presbytery ever since the time when they
were bombed at Portsmouth, lying tranquilly on the shelf. The Reverend Father
was a little perturbed when he realised how much value had been lying on the
shelf for so many years and, the following day decided to put it in his safe in
his study. When he came downstairs the following morning he was horrified
to see that the safe had vanished, it was found in the basement broken open and
the contents missing, i.e. £2.50 and the Savoy manuscript. As you can
imagine there was a great deal of panic until, a few hours later a curate was
strolling down the drive and happened to notice in the bushes, an open book
which was, The Savoy Hours, thrown there by the petty thief. It was returned
to the open shelves to rest there safely, as it had done for over 20 years,
until I collected it. I wonder what that poor little thief would say if he ever
learned that he threw a fortune into the bushes and walked away with $6.00
for his labours." The manuscript was deaccessioned by the Bishop and Cathedral
Chapter "for better care and to the advantage of scholars" in 1967 (stamped
over bookplate). Sold at Christie's, 5 July 1967, no. 163. Purchased from
H. P. Kraus in 1969, as the gift of Edwin J. Beinecke.
Bibliography: Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 209-10, no. 35, pl. 15 (f. 2r).
L. Delisle, Recherches sur la librairie de Charles V (Paris, 1907) v. 1,
pp. 208-13; v. 2, pp. 43-44, no. 247.
H. Y. Thompson, ed., with a note by Dom P. Blanchard, Les Heures de Savoie.
Facsimiles of Fifty-two Pages from the Hours Executed for Blanche of Burgundy
P. Durrieu, "Notice d'un des plus importants livres de prieres du roi
Charles V. Les Heures de Savoie ou 'tres belles grandes Heures' du roi,"
Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Chartes 72 (1911) pp. 500-55.
Idem, "Les aventures de deux splendides livres d'Heures ayant
appartenu au duc Jean de Berry," Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 30 (1911)
E. Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting (Cambridge, Mass., 1953) v. 1,
pp. 34f., 37; v. 2, figs. 18, 19.
M. Meiss, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry, The Late Fourteenth
Century and the Patronage of the Duke (London, 1967) pp. 109, 188, 317.
F. Avril, La Librairie de Charles V, exhib. cat.(Paris: Bibliotheque
Nationale, 1968) no. 174.
C. R. Sherman, The Portraits of Charles V of France (1338-1380)
(New York, 1969) pp. 45 and 48f., fig. 41.
G. E. Hutchinson, "Attitudes toward Nature in Medieval England: the
Alphonso and Bird Psalters," Isis 65 (1974) p. 28.
In Retrospect: A Catalogue of 100 Outstanding Manuscripts Sold in the
Last Four Decades by H. P. Kraus (New York, 1978) pp. 110-11, no. 37, pl. of
Barbara A. Shailor