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Book of Hours (Use of Châlons-sur-Marne) – Fragment

Parchment · 1 leaf · 1450 – 1500 CE · France · 170 x 120 mm
Canberra, The Australian National University Library, Shelfmark Pending
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  • Maggs Bros., European Miniatures and Illumination & Calligraphy also early writing from Egypt. Bulletin No. 11. London (November 1982)
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  • R. Faunce, "Cataloguing and making discoverable ANU Library's small collection of detached medieval manuscript leaves", The Australian National University, 2018.
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  • Otto F. Ege, Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts, Western Europe XII-XVI century, c1940
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Seller: Maggs Bros

This leaf is from a Book of Hours dismembered by Otto F. Ege for inclusion in specimen sets of medieval manuscript leaves he compiled in the 1940s under the title "Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts". It is listed as no. 48.

The leaf came onto the market in 1981, sold by Maggs Bros, London, to the Friends of the Australian National University Library.

The 'Reconstructing Folio 48' project led by Lisa Fagin Davis to identify and reassemble the surviving fragments of the Book of Hours has located 29 leaves to date. Based on the internal evidence she has linked the manuscript to Châlons-sur-Marne. This is supported by five saints invoked in the Litany who are traditionally linked to the Diocese of Châlons-sur-Marne (since 1998 Châlons-en-Champagne), namely, Saints Alpin, Germain, Memmius, Elaphe and Poma. St Memmius is venerated as the first bishop of Châlons. Local legend maintains that Châlons was evangelised by Memmius, assisted by his sister Poma, in the first century. The association to Châlons is further supported by the invocations to two other early bishops. St Alpin served as bishop of Châlons for 47 years (433-480) and founded the Abbey of St Memmius in the diocese. The church dedicated to him, built in Châlons in the eleventh-century, survives to this day. St Elaphe was bishop in 579.

Contents: Litany of saints - the end of the list of male saints followed by the names of female saints and orisions. The leaf holding the beginning of the Litany is in Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (shelfmark pending).

Decoration: 39 1-line initials in gold on alternating blue and pink grounds and well modelled "bois écotés" branch-like line fillers in gold. Marginal side panel in gold with flora, consisting of acanthus tendrils in blue, white or red in the centre and a carefully detailed flower painted above and below.

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