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← search Lace Book of Marie de' Medici W.494
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This Prayerbook was made for Marie de' Medici in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Beyond its provenance as a personal book owned by the famous queen, it is exceptional for its intricately cut borders, which transform the parchment margins into lace. This effect was created using a technique known as "canivet," in which a small knife was used to cut ornate patterns into paper or parchment. An art form that flourished originally among nuns in France, Germany, and the Netherlands beginning in the sixteenth century, it was employed to exceptional effect in several manuscripts connected with Marie de' Medici. The Walters manuscript, made for her while she was regent of France, and wife of King Henry IV, contains twenty-eight miniatures, including original religious imagery as well as several later additions: a gouache portrait of the elderly queen, and nine small miniatures produced in Bruges ca. 1450 by an artist influenced by the Eyckian and Gold Scrolls styles prevalent at the time; the coat-of-arms of Marie de Medici, as well as her monogram. The Walters manuscript retains its original binding composed of mosaic inlays in green and black leather, as well as fine gilt pointillé foliate tooling, and a replica of the binding was created by Léon Gruel for Henry Walters on one of his seventeenth-century printed books (92.467) that also connects to Marie de' Medici.

Hand note

Written in humanist script

Decoration Note

Nine miniatures, cuttings from a fifteenth-century Flemish Book of Hours, affixed to fols. 1r, 2r, and 4r; contemporary with the manuscript are also one full-page miniature, fifteen smaller miniatures, and illuminations or painted scenes or patterns in borders (passim); gouache portrait of elderly Marie de' Medici affixed to fol. 51r at uncertain point (painting dates to seventeenth or eighteenth century); borders of fols. 5-50 cut with intricate lace designs, often with painted imagery and designs including architectural elements, christological symbolism, ciphers, and anagrams, such as MA, MR, MH, CS, IHS, and MARIE DE MEDICIS (latter found on fols. 15r and 38r); initials in red, blue, gold, and silver; text in black ink

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Brown, Emily

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Schuele, Allyson

Contributor: Shartrand, Emily

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Meyer, Paul. Catalogue de manuscrits très précieux du XIIIe au XVIIIe siècle... composant la collection de Madame la duchesse de B*** [Berry] [Texte imprimé] : Paris, Hôtel Drouot, salle n ° 7, 22 mars 1864, Me Charles Pillet, MM. Mannheim, p. 16, no. 3.


Quentin-Bauchart, Ernest. Les femmes bibliophiles de France. Vol. 1. Paris: Damascène Morgand Libraire, 1886; pp. 181-182.


Gruel, Leon. Manuel historique et bibliographique de l'amateur de reliures. Vol. 2. Paris: Gruel and Engelmann, 1905; p. 116 (illus.).


Quaritch, Bernard. A Catalogue of Illuminated and Other Manuscripts, Together with some Works on Paleography. London: Bernard Quatrich, Ltd, 1931; p. 38, ref. under lot 52.


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 816, cat. no. 362.


Quaritch, Bernard. Catalogue 500. London, 1935; ref. under lot 246 [ex-Doheny Ms. 699, Camarillo, California, sold London, Christ's, December 2, 1987].


Baltimore Museum of Art. The Greek Tradition in Painting and the Minor Arts: an exhibition sponsored jointly by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery from May 15 through June 25, 1939. Baltimore Museum of Art. 1939, p. 84, cat. no. 114.


Miner, Dorothy. The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950 A.D.. Exhibition Catalogue for Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1957; cat. no. 381, Pl. LXXVI.


Christie's. London, December, 2, 1987; p. 117, ref. under lot 179.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 2. France , 1420-1540. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 648-649, app. 8.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3. Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 200-201, cat. no. 242; figs. 466.


De Conihout, Isabelle. “Libri di propietà di Maria de’ Medici.” In Maria de' Medici. Una principessa fiorentina sul trono di Francia. Exhibition Catalogue for Florence, Museo degli argenti, 19 marzo-4 settembre 2005. Edited by Caterina Caneva and Francesco Solinas, pp. 366-368. Florence: Sillabe, 2005; p. 366.


Christie's. New York, June 27-28, 2006; Sale 1769, ref. under lot 285.


McFaddden, David. Slash: Paper Under the Knife. Exhibition Catalogue for New York, Museum of Art and Design, October 7, 2009-April 4, 2010. Milan: 5 Continents, 2009; pp. 14, 45.


Christie's. Sale 7915- The Arcana Collection, Part 2: Important Rare Books and Manuscripts. October 27, 2010; ref. under lot 22 ["Philippe Desportes, prieres du roy au saint esprit, in French, and penitential psalms and litany, in LATIN, illuminated cut-work text"].


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Prayer book
Flemish
Flanders
France
17th century
Devotion
Christian
French
Heraldry
Miniature
Notable binding
Original binding
Ornament
Painting
15th century

Origin Place

Paris (?)

Date

Second quarter of the 17th century (with several added 15th-century miniatures)

Form

book

Binding

Original Binding

Binding Description

Bound in France, likely in Paris, by Ruette at time of manuscript's creation ca. 1640; red leather with olive-brown inlaid leather geometric panel designs; fine gilt pointillé foliate tooling; two extant gilt inlaid diamonds on spine; gilt edges; León Gruel created facsimile of binding for one of Henry Walters' related printed books, L'Entree de la Reyne Mere du Roy Tres-Chrestien dans les Villes des Pays Bas, 1632, by Jean Puget de La Serre (accession number 92.467)

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is French.

Provenance

Created in Paris

Baron d'Heiss, Paris, second half of the eighteenth century; related inscriptions: "o Ep" on front flyleaf i, r; "40D168. 1776" on back flyleaf i, r; sold in his sale in Paris on March 7, 1785, lot no. 358, with front flyleaf iii, r inscribed "No. 358. B. d'Heiss"

Duchesse de Berry, nineteenth century; inscribed "Duchesse de Berry No. 15" on front flyleaf i, r; her sale in Paris on March 22, 1864, lot no. 3, with "3" inscribed on front flyleaf i, r

M. de Machy, purchased from Berry sale in 1864 for 1,260 francs

León Gruel

Henry Walters, Baltimore, possibly acquired from Gruel or Morgand before 1905 when it is published by Gruel as a book owned by Walters

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

← search Lace Book of Marie de' Medici W.494

Origin Place

Paris (?)

Date

Second quarter of the 17th century (with several added 15th-century miniatures)

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is French.

Provenance

Created in Paris

Baron d'Heiss, Paris, second half of the eighteenth century; related inscriptions: "o Ep" on front flyleaf i, r; "40D168. 1776" on back flyleaf i, r; sold in his sale in Paris on March 7, 1785, lot no. 358, with front flyleaf iii, r inscribed "No. 358. B. d'Heiss"

Duchesse de Berry, nineteenth century; inscribed "Duchesse de Berry No. 15" on front flyleaf i, r; her sale in Paris on March 22, 1864, lot no. 3, with "3" inscribed on front flyleaf i, r

M. de Machy, purchased from Berry sale in 1864 for 1,260 francs

León Gruel

Henry Walters, Baltimore, possibly acquired from Gruel or Morgand before 1905 when it is published by Gruel as a book owned by Walters

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This Prayerbook was made for Marie de' Medici in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Beyond its provenance as a personal book owned by the famous queen, it is exceptional for its intricately cut borders, which transform the parchment margins into lace. This effect was created using a technique known as "canivet," in which a small knife was used to cut ornate patterns into paper or parchment. An art form that flourished originally among nuns in France, Germany, and the Netherlands beginning in the sixteenth century, it was employed to exceptional effect in several manuscripts connected with Marie de' Medici. The Walters manuscript, made for her while she was regent of France, and wife of King Henry IV, contains twenty-eight miniatures, including original religious imagery as well as several later additions: a gouache portrait of the elderly queen, and nine small miniatures produced in Bruges ca. 1450 by an artist influenced by the Eyckian and Gold Scrolls styles prevalent at the time; the coat-of-arms of Marie de Medici, as well as her monogram. The Walters manuscript retains its original binding composed of mosaic inlays in green and black leather, as well as fine gilt pointillé foliate tooling, and a replica of the binding was created by Léon Gruel for Henry Walters on one of his seventeenth-century printed books (92.467) that also connects to Marie de' Medici.

Hand note

Written in humanist script

Decoration Note

Nine miniatures, cuttings from a fifteenth-century Flemish Book of Hours, affixed to fols. 1r, 2r, and 4r; contemporary with the manuscript are also one full-page miniature, fifteen smaller miniatures, and illuminations or painted scenes or patterns in borders (passim); gouache portrait of elderly Marie de' Medici affixed to fol. 51r at uncertain point (painting dates to seventeenth or eighteenth century); borders of fols. 5-50 cut with intricate lace designs, often with painted imagery and designs including architectural elements, christological symbolism, ciphers, and anagrams, such as MA, MR, MH, CS, IHS, and MARIE DE MEDICIS (latter found on fols. 15r and 38r); initials in red, blue, gold, and silver; text in black ink

References

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Brown, Emily

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Schuele, Allyson

Contributor: Shartrand, Emily

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Owen, Linda

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Meyer, Paul. Catalogue de manuscrits très précieux du XIIIe au XVIIIe siècle... composant la collection de Madame la duchesse de B*** [Berry] [Texte imprimé] : Paris, Hôtel Drouot, salle n ° 7, 22 mars 1864, Me Charles Pillet, MM. Mannheim, p. 16, no. 3.


Quentin-Bauchart, Ernest. Les femmes bibliophiles de France. Vol. 1. Paris: Damascène Morgand Libraire, 1886; pp. 181-182.


Gruel, Leon. Manuel historique et bibliographique de l'amateur de reliures. Vol. 2. Paris: Gruel and Engelmann, 1905; p. 116 (illus.).


Quaritch, Bernard. A Catalogue of Illuminated and Other Manuscripts, Together with some Works on Paleography. London: Bernard Quatrich, Ltd, 1931; p. 38, ref. under lot 52.


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 816, cat. no. 362.


Quaritch, Bernard. Catalogue 500. London, 1935; ref. under lot 246 [ex-Doheny Ms. 699, Camarillo, California, sold London, Christ's, December 2, 1987].


Baltimore Museum of Art. The Greek Tradition in Painting and the Minor Arts: an exhibition sponsored jointly by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery from May 15 through June 25, 1939. Baltimore Museum of Art. 1939, p. 84, cat. no. 114.


Miner, Dorothy. The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950 A.D.. Exhibition Catalogue for Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1957; cat. no. 381, Pl. LXXVI.


Christie's. London, December, 2, 1987; p. 117, ref. under lot 179.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 2. France , 1420-1540. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 648-649, app. 8.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3. Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 200-201, cat. no. 242; figs. 466.


De Conihout, Isabelle. “Libri di propietà di Maria de’ Medici.” In Maria de' Medici. Una principessa fiorentina sul trono di Francia. Exhibition Catalogue for Florence, Museo degli argenti, 19 marzo-4 settembre 2005. Edited by Caterina Caneva and Francesco Solinas, pp. 366-368. Florence: Sillabe, 2005; p. 366.


Christie's. New York, June 27-28, 2006; Sale 1769, ref. under lot 285.


McFaddden, David. Slash: Paper Under the Knife. Exhibition Catalogue for New York, Museum of Art and Design, October 7, 2009-April 4, 2010. Milan: 5 Continents, 2009; pp. 14, 45.


Christie's. Sale 7915- The Arcana Collection, Part 2: Important Rare Books and Manuscripts. October 27, 2010; ref. under lot 22 ["Philippe Desportes, prieres du roy au saint esprit, in French, and penitential psalms and litany, in LATIN, illuminated cut-work text"].


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
Prayer book
Flemish
Flanders
France
17th century
Devotion
Christian
French
Heraldry
Miniature
Notable binding
Original binding
Ornament
Painting
15th century
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