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Statutes and Armorial of the Order of the Golden Fleece

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  • Illuminated Manuscript. Statutes and Armorial of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Binding (front cover & spine) of MS 187. Leboucq, Jacques (Flemish). Valenciennes, Southern Netherlands. 1563. Parchment, iii modern paper flyleaves + v contemporary parchment flyleaves (pencil foliation iv – viii, fol. iv former pastedown) + 148 fols. (fol. 148 former pastedown) + iii modern paper flyleaves, 300 x 200 (210 – 230 x 138 - 170) mm, 42 long lines, ruled in violet ink (except fols. 47r – 108r varying number of lines, ruled in hard point). BINDING: Sixteenth century, gold-stamped brown calf over pasteboards, sewn on four supports, central panel with defaced arms, fleece and flint-and-steel stamps within three concentric frames pf gold-stamped floral and geometric ornament, traces of two fastening devices on fore edge, gilt and gauffered edges; rebound and repaired by Robert Proctor, Fitzwilliam Museum, in 1990. CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 7r Table of contents; fols. 9r – 15v Statutes of the Order of the Golden Fleece; fols. 15v – 36r Ordinances of the Order of the Golden Fleece; fols. 37r – 43v Ceremonial of the Order of the Golden Fleece; fols. 47r – 108r Register of chapters and Armorial of the Order of the Golden Fleece. DECORATION: Portrait of Philip the Good painted on a separate piece of parchment and pasted on fol. 46r, together with four shields, also on separate pieces of parchment, displaying the arms of Burgundy, Flanders, the Holy Roman Empire, and an unidentified arms. Large framed miniature showing the chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece at St Paul, Valenciennes, 1473, painted on a separate piece of parchment and pasted on fol. 65r. ORNAMENTATION: Full-page Renaissance cartouches incorporating devices of the Order of the Golden Fleece and framing title pages (fols. 1r, 47r) and accounts of chapters presided over by a new ruler (fols. 61r, 66r, 68v, 72r, 76r, 82r, 87v, 91v, 96v, 100v, 101r, 106r); identical small cartouches or wreaths framing accounts of remaining chapters; full strewn-flower borders incorporating animals, insects and devices of the Order of the Golden Fleece, at major text divisions (fols. 9r, 47v, 60v, 65v, 75v, 81v); full-page frontispieces with sovereign’s arms and crest at beginning of Statutes (fol. 8v) and at chapters presided over by a new ruler (fols. 48r, 61v, 66v, 77r, 83r, 92v, 102r); framed arms and crests of members of the Order of the Golden Fleece, usually four per page (fols. 48v – 108r); brown and liquid gold initials [6 – 8 ll.] on blue and/or pink grounds with silver ornament at main text divisions; identical or calligraphic black ink initials [4 ll.] on liquid gold or silver grounds at lesser text divisions. Acanthus and floral border fragment showing the flint-and-steel badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the initials ‘C’ and ‘M’ linked with a love knot, and the motto of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York Je lay enprins, bien en aviegne, pasted on fol. iv verso.
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