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Personal Data
Title King Clovis
Dating 1425?
Location Paris
Type of the object manuscript illumination
Provenance Paris
Place of exposition Book of Hours ("Legend of the Fleurs de Lys", 'The Bedford Missal'), MS. Add. 18850, f.288v, British Library, London, UK
Date of manufacturing 1414-1423
c 1410-1430
between 1423 and 1430
Artist Bedford Master, a Parisian artist named after this manuscript

Add MS 18850
Date c 1410-1430
Book of Hours (the 'Bedford Hours')
Content Book of Hours of the use of Paris, known as the 'Bedford Hours'.
The manuscript was produced in several phases. Its first owner, probably a member of the French royal family, remains untraced, but Louis (d. 1415), duke of Guyenne and dauphin of France, has been suggested as a possible candidate (Stirnemann and Rabel 'The Tres Riches Heures' (2005), Konig, The Bedford Hours (2007)). The works on the manuscript might have started as early as 1410-1415 and continued until the early 1420s. The most significant additions were included between 1423 and 1430 when the manuscript was in the possession of John, duke of Bedford. They include a cycle of full-page miniatures from Genesis (ff. 13v-18v, quires ii-iii), portraits of the duke of Bedford and his wife, Anne of Burgundy with prayers to their patron saints (ff. 256r-259v, quire xxxiv), and the Legend of the Fleurs-de-lis, at the end of the volume (ff. 289r-289v, quire xxxix). At this stage the arms of the duke and the duchess were also included.
The Contents: ff. i verso - ii recto: Added flyleaves with the arms of Edward Harley and his wife, Henrietta Cavendish Holles;ff. 1r-12v: Calendar;ff. 13v-18v: Prefatory cycle of miniatures from Genesis;ff. 19r-31v: Gospel excerpts and prayers to the Virgin, Obsecro te and O intemerata;ff. 32r-113r: Hours to the Virgin, Hor? beat? Mari? Virginis, with the Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany;ff. 113v-156v: Hours for each day of the week, Officia ad horas pro singulis diebus hebdomad?;ff. 157r-199r: Office of the Dead;ff. 199v-207v: Prayers in French, Quinze joyes and Sept requestes a Dieu;ff. 208r-255v: Hours of the Passion, Hor? in passione Domini Jesus Christi; ff. 256r-287v: Suffrages to the Saints, Commemorationes Sanctorum and masses to the Holy Spirit, to the Holy Cross, and for the Dead;ff. 289r-289v: Legend of the Fleurs-de-lis. Decoration: 5 full-page miniatures in gold and colours without borders (ff. 14r, 15v, 16v, 17v, 288v) and 33 large miniatures in colours and gold with full borders (ff. 32r, 204v, incuding two full-page miniatures, ff. 256v, 257v). Full ivy-leaf borders with historiated medalions (over 1200) on every other page. Small miniatures in the calendar with the labours of the months and the signs of the Zodiac. 3 historiated initials (ff. 25r, 28v, 32r). Illuminated initials and line fillers.The iconography of the medallions is explained in verses in French, written in gold and blue in lower margins, which were probably added in the last stage of the production of the manuscript by the scribe of ff. 288r-289v. The main miniatures and related borders including the portraits of the duke and duchess of Bedford were painted by the Bedford Master, a Parisian artist named after this manuscript. The completion of the Genesis cycle and miniatures on ff. 188r-189r was attributed to the Master of the Munich Golden Legend by Konig, The Bedford Hours (2007). The borders of the text, executed at an earlier stage, were associated with the Master of the Cite des Dames, the Master de Laval, and others (see Konig, The Bedford Hours (2007)).

Among images added to the volume at that time was yet another remainder of the Anglo-Burgundian alliance. The last two leaves of the manuscript tell the story of the heavenly origin of the French royal coat of arms in picture and verse (below). The miniature depicts God sending his angel with a fleur-de-lis banner to the hermit of Joyenval, who then hands it over to Queen Clothilda. The next scene takes place in the royal palace. The queen presents the fleur-de-lis, on a shield, to Clovis, her husband and the first Christian king of France. The legend of the Fleur-de-lis: London, British Library, MS Additional 18850, f. 288v. Clothilda like Anne was a Burgundian princess and it is not accidental that she is assisted here by a herald wearing a hat of green, white and black, the livery colours of the dukes of Burgundy, and that the gate to her palace bears the escutcheon of the lion rampant of Flanders. Clothilda’s role in the legend underlines the traditional Burgundian support to the French crown. A similar role was also expected from Anne, the Regent’s consort. Clothilda presenting the Fleur-de-lis arms to Clovis: London, British Library, MS Additional 18850, f. 288v.

Legend of the Fleurs de Lys
Record Number: 7098
Shelfmark: Add. 18850
Page Folio Number: f.288v
Description: [Whole folio] God dispatches an angel to entrust the fleurs de lys to the hermit of Joyenval, who hands them to Clovis's wife Clothilda. In the foreground she presents them, in the form of a shield, to Clovis, who is newly converted into a Christian knight
Title of Work: Bedford Hours
Illustrator: Master of the Munich Golden Legend
Production: Paris; 1414-1423

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