EXCEPTIONALLY RARE COMPLETE PARISIAN BOOK OF HOURS IN A FINE BINDING, WITH ROYAL PROVENANCE: 1526 THIELMAN KERVER HOURS – SUPERB BINDING BY LORTIC -
CHARLES-LOUIS DE BOURBON-PARMA’s COPY WITH HIS BOOKPLATE AND WITH COATS OF ARMS GILT ON BOTH COVERS.
BOOK OF HOURS (USE OF ROME): Hore deipare virginis marie secu(n)du(m) usum Romanu(m)…. Paris, Thielman Kerver ad signum Unicornis, 1526.
8vo (165x105 mm), XIX century French dark brown full morocco binding by Lortic with his stamp at front flyleaf, boards with double ruled gilt panel, crowned monograms at angles, gilt frame decorated with small patterned tools representing the French Royal fleur-de-lis, central gilt coat of arms of Charles-Louis de Bourbon-Parma, five raised bands spine with titles and crowned monograms at compartments, gilt floral decorations at squares, gilt edges, ff. 132. Printed text in Latin on paper, soignature A-Q8, R4.
132 leaves containing 48 full page woodcuts, including the title page with the Kerver device with two unicorns, and 33 smaller woodcuts. Each text page is inserted in a rich border with criblé background and decorations representing the dance of death, grotesque characters, scenes from the Bible, signs of the Zodiac, processions of the months, and Kerver's printer device. Almanac for the years 1523-1542. The book is dated 14 August 1526 on the final leaf.
TEXT: Calendar; Gospel Lessons (John, Luke, Matthew, Mark); Christ's Passion; Hours of the Virgin; Penitential Psalms and Litanies; Hours of the Dead (including The Nine Lessons from the Book of Job), long Hours of the Cross (or Hour of the Passion), Hours of The Holy Spirit, Suffrages.
FULL PAGE WOODCUTS: Printer device, Planetary man, John the Evangelist, The Betrayal, Tree of Jesse, the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Annunciation to Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Flight into Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin, David and Bathsheba, Uriah's death, David and Nathan the Prophet, David in Prayer, David in the Temple, David and Bathsheba, David and Solomon, Three living and Three Dead (two woodcuts), nine woodcuts illustrating the nine lessons from the Book of Job, The Betrayal, Christ before Pilate, Flagellation, Stations of the Cross, Crucifixion, Deposition, Entombment, The Tomb, The Resurrection, Christ and the Virgin, Christ and Magdalene, Christ and the Apostles, Christ and Saint Thomas, The Pentecost, Virgin Mary, Holy Trinity, Saint Gregory.
PROVENANCE: Ex-libris Biblioteque Liturgique de S.A.R. Charles Louis de Bourbon, Compte de Villafranca on front inside cover. This is the copy described in Alès' bibliography.
CHARLES-LOUIS DE BOURBON-PARMA (1799-1883) was the son of Louis I of Bourbon, Duke of Parma and Maria Luisa, Duchess of Lucca. He was appointed king of Etruria, with the name of Louis II, when he was about three years old; in 1824 he succeeded to Dukedom of Lucca with the name of Charles-Louis. During his reign he launched many reforms of public utilities and spent energy and money to maintain and improve the historical and artistic possessions of the city. In 1847 Charles-Louis abdicated and handed over the dukedom to Leopold II Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was then appointed Duke of Parma and Piacenza with the name of Charles II. On 19 April 1848, Charles abdicated in favor of his son. He lived the rest of his life in France, where he used the title of Count of Villafranca. He died at Nice in 1883.
REFERENCES: Alès, Description des Livres de Liturgie imprimés aux XV et XVI siècles faisant partie de la bibliothèque de S.A.R. Mgr Charles-Louis de Bourbon, 359 : " Edition que l'on rencontre fort rarement". Bohatta, 1105. Not in Lacombe or Brunet !
Probably the finest example available of this very rare book – distinguished by its provenance and exceptional condition!