(Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2008). 216 x 152 mm. (8 1/2 x 6"). 136 leaves (in the facsimile). Three volumes (including two volumes of commentary, one in German and one in Italian). No. 201 OF 980 COPIES.
SUMPTUOUS RED MOROCCO, central panel of each cover with thin open-work black leather in an ornate vine pattern laid over blue and gold silk, creating a stained glass effect, the leatherwork incorporating floral circles painted in red and gold, three large medallions arranged down the center of the panel, those at head and tail of red morocco painted in a black, gold, and blue pattern and with a large, round semi-precious stone at the middle, the central medallion comprising a miniature on silk, that on the upper cover of the Archangel Gabriel, that on the lower cover of the Virgin Mary; raised bands, spine diapered in blind, with a single gilt dot at the center of each lozenge; floral silver cornerpieces and two clasps, red morocco doublures framed in silver, doublure panels with intricate decoration in gilt and black, large central medallion of open-work black leather over blue silk with a molded leather profile of Julius Caesar at center, ivory watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt and gauffered. In a padded, silk-lined cream-colored suede box with an enamel medallion on the upper cover. BEAUTIFULLY DECORATED THROUGHOUT: with many ornamental initials, elaborate floral extensions and partial borders, a tondo miniature at the foot of each calendar page, seven historiated initials with full borders, and five full-page miniatures, each by a different Italian master. In mint condition.
This sophisticated Book of Hours was produced in 1503 at the behest of Bonaparte Ghislieri, a member of an important Bolognese family. In commissioning it, Ghislieri wanted to bring together several of the most famous artists of the period, each of whom was called upon to create a full-page miniature. The intention was to offer a sort of miniature anthology of the best that the Bologna school of illumination could produce at the time. Consequently, we see a succession of works by: Amico Aspertini (Adoration of the Shepherds), Lorenzo Costa (King David and his Lyre), Il Francia (Francesco Raibolini) (Saint Jerome), Matteo da Milano, (Annunciation), and Perugino, (St. Sebastian). This last is the only miniature ever painted by Raphael's teacher. Bologna was also the home of the scribe, Pierantonio Sallando, who taught grammar at the University of Bologna and was to become a famous professor of writing. The codex passed from the Ghislieris to the Albani family of Urbino, where it is documented in the 18th century; the following century it reached England, where it was purchased by Henry Yates Thompson in 1897. Since 1941 it has been kept in the British Library. (ST12207)
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PJP Catalog: 70.518