Belgian Neo-Gothic Treasure
145. [Neo-Gothic - Maredret]
12mo (16 x 11,5 cm):  ff., on vellum, in French and Latin with a red and black Neo-Gothic hand, written area: 9,5 x 5,5 cm, with musical notations.
Contemp. leather Bradel, front cover with a gilt crown, gilt inside dentelles, white moiré silk endpapers. In a box. Very fresh and sound copy.
"Wedding book" offered by Théodore de Hemptinne (1904-1988) to Mariette du Pont d'Ahérée (1907-1970) at the occasion of their wedding on 14 July 1923 (as mentioned in the colophon). It contains the Mass for the spouses and is supposed to help Mariette to appear "[...] toujours toute aimable à votre chier époux et serez ferme soutien, et verrez croître à l'entour de vous moultes générations d'enfants [...]" (f. [12r]).
Very fine and rich illustration: 2 full-page illuminations (9,5 x 5,5 cm) heightened with liquid gold (figuring the Trinity between a medieval representation of the two spouses and a bishop blessing them), 3 in-text illuminations heightened with liquid gold (figuring i.a. wedding scene and a procession), four- to six-line floral initials heightened with liquid gold with penwork extending into marginal decoration, red and blue two- to six-lines pen-flourished initials, red and blue initials, capitals touched in red, margins ornated with gouache animals, birds, grotesque and hunting scenes and representations of the two spouses, first folio with the gilt arms of alliance of Théodore de Hemptinne and Mariette du Pont d'Ahérée.
Localisation: this manuscript was made in the Benedictine nuns Abbey of Maredret by sisters Marie-Madeleine Kerger and Agnès Desclée. This monastery has been famous for its calligraphy workshop since its foundation by mother Agnès de Hemptinne. There, they try to recreate the old traditions of Gothic miniature production and are still in activity today. The Count Paul de Hemptinne, father of Théodore and brother of mother Agnès, commissionned several manuscripts to the workshop St. Luke of Maredret: a rituale in 1899 for the profession of monk of his son and at least four wedding books for his other sons, incl. our copy (1900, 1907, 1919, 1927).
Ref. Vanwijnsberghe, D. - "Les Annales de l'atelier d'enluminure de Maredret, par mère Marie-Louise Lemaire (1974)", in Bulletin de l'IRPA, 31 (2004-2005), pp. 205-285 (spec. p. 220).
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