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1511 Paris book of hours printed on vellum, with with 17 large & 27 small illustrations plus more in the borders:
only known complete copy of this edition, possibly from the great Harleian Library

Hore [= Horae beate Marie Virginis] secundum usum Romanum ad longum.
(colophon: Paris, Thomas Kees), [ca. 1511, with an almanac for the years 1511-1530]. 8vo (18 x 12 cm). Printed on vellum in red and black throughout, with illustrations printed from (mostly metal?) relief blocks: 17 nearly full-page plus 1 repeat, 27 small plus 2 repeats in the text, many additional small in the decorated border pieces that surround nearly every page. Dark brown gold- and blind-tooled goatskin morocco (ca. 1870?), signed "HARDY-MENNIL" in the foot of the front turn-in. [216] pp.
€ 25,000
Second known copy, apparently the only known copy printed on vellum, of a Paris book of hours in Latin, probably published in 1511 (the almanac and calendar for 20 years covers the years 1511 to 1530), the only known book of hours printed by Thomas Kees (or Caseus) from Wesel in the Rhine valley, recorded as a printer in Paris from 1507 to 1516. The illustrations are finely cut, many with criblée backgrounds, and many are thought to have been printed from metal relief blocks, rather than woodcuts. Most of the small illustrations in the text depict saints. The illustrations in the border strips include scenes from the Old and New Testament, dance of death scenes, apostles, saints, scenes from daily life, fantastic beasts and more. The large illustrations may have been cut for Antoine Vérard ca. 1503 to 1507.
The work was rebound by Hardy-Mennil in Paris, ca. 1870. Little is known about Hardy himself. "Mennil" is not separately recorded. He used the name Hardy-Mennil by 1864 and was certainly a celebrated binder by 1868, when the books he bound were often gold-tooled by one of the most famous finishers of all time, Jean Michel (1821-1890).
Possibly from the great library assembled by Robert Harley (1661-1724), first Earl of Oxford, chief advisor to Queen Anne, and his son Edward Harley (1689-1741), which descended to Edward's daughter Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (1715-1785), Duchess of Portland, many of whose printed books were sold in London 1816-1817.
Trimmed close to the decorative borders at the head, shaving a border on 1 page and just touching a few others, with a tiny chip slightly affecting the corner of another border, but generally in very good condition, the binding fine. Bohatta 932; French vernacular books 67388 (BN Paris copy only); KVK & WorldCat (BN Paris copy only); Moreau II, 115 (p. 83) (BN Paris copy only); Robins, Bibliotheca Harleiana: a catalogue of ... the Harleian Library 18352 (vol. IV (1817), p. 781)? (not seen, possibly the present copy); USTC 183113 (BN Paris copy only); cf. Mortimer, Harvard French 295; not in Alston & Hill, Books printed on vellum in ... the British Library; Van Praet, Cat. livres imprimés sur vélin ... Bibl. Du Roi.
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Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bindings
Early printing & manuscripts  >  Religion & Devotion
Religion & devotion  >  Books of hours, Missals & Prayerbooks