iv] + {6} (unnumbered) + 44 + [iv] = 58 silk pages, small in 4o, 43 numbered pages, plus 6 preliminary pages, plus 4 pages front and back of mounted silk, text block 168 x 131 mm., text in one or two columns, one half-page and three full-page illustrations, in addition to various styles of decorative borders and initials throughout on every page, woven entirely in silver-gray and black silk, with a greyish-silver texture to the cast, fore edges gilt head and tail. Bound in Jansenist-style burgundy-brown levant morocco by Kauffmann and Horclois, with maroon silk doublures, gilt edges and fold-ins with dark blue leather inlays, gilt stamped “j. kauffmann - f. horclois” inside front, with five raised bands, spine stamped “Livre de Prières” in Gothic blackletter; in excellent condition, with original black cloth slipcase lined with maroon silk and a woven bookmark of Joan of Arc (120 x 30 mm). Dimensions 173 x 141 mm. 

The reddish hue of the silk pages suggests this example was woven late in the overall production, perhaps around 1900. The escutcheon is blank but the banderole below does include the initial “H” (probably for Henry). The Art Deco-style binding shows the evolution of the Kauffmann bindery with the addition of Francis Horclois, however, the date that Horclois joined the firm is not clear, and not much is known about Francis Horclois other than the fact that he took charge of the firm in 1929 (see Duncan and de Bartha 1989, p. 96). 

A woven silk bookmark with Joan of Arc is tucked inside the front cover, possibly added at the time it was bound or by a later owner. The bookmark is undated but depicts Joan of Arc lifting the siege at Orléans, commemorated in 1869 at the 440th anniversary of this siege and cited as one of the arguments for Joan of Arc’s canonization. Images of Joan of Arc exploded across France and North America in the late nineteenth century, following the recovery of her memory in memory popular culture and literature, culminating with Joan of Arc’s beatification in 1909 and canonization in 1920. 


Woven in Lyon by the firm of J. A. Henry, probably after 1900. 


p. {1}, Half-title page, “Livre de Prières”; 

p. {2}, Escutcheon (see physical description where customized); 

p. {3}, Title-page, “Livre de Prières Tissé d’après les enluminures des manuscrits du XIVe au XVIe siècle. Lyon mdccclxxxvi.”; 

p. {4}, official sanction of the content of the volume, incipit, “Varias precum formulas,” with the date September 8, 1886 and the name of Cardinal Louis-Marie Claverot, archbishop of Lyon and Vienne, with his arms and motto, along with the archiepiscopal arms of Lyon and the motto “Prima sedes Galliarum,” a reference to the importance of the city as a seat of Christian faith from the late second century on; 

p. {5}, “Les Prières du Matin et du Soir”; 

pp. 1-4, “Prières du Matin”; 

pp. 5-10, “Prières du Soir”; 

pp. 11-24, “Le saint Sacrifice de la Messe”; 

pp. 25-32, “La Messe de Mariage”; 

pp. 33-43, Prayers, for Communion (p. 33), to the Sacrament (p. 36), to the Holy Spirit (p. 38), to the Holy Virgin (p. 39), and diverse prayers (p. 42); 

p. [44], “Table des Matières”. 


Every page is surrounded by border decorations of a wide variety; listed below are the half- and full-page illustrations: 

p. {6}, Nativity (full-page), after paintings by Fra Angelico (no single source is identified, but best compared to the Nativity on a panel from the Armadio degli Argenti (Silver Chest) at the Museo nazionale di San Marco, Florence); 

p. 11, Elevation of the Host (historiated initial ‘M’); 

p. 12, Crucifixion (full-page), perhaps derived from a painting attributed to Fra Bartolomeo; 

p. 26, Virgin and Child surrounded by Angels (full-page); 

p. 33, Christ with the Virgin and St. John the Baptist (half-page), after the fresco of the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament by Raphael in the Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican City. 


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Randall, Lilian M.C. “A Nineteenth-Century “Medieval” Prayerbook Woven in Lyon,” in M. Barasch, L. Freeman Sandler and P. Egan, eds., Art, The Ape of Nature: Studies in Honor of H. W. Janson. New York, 1981, pp. 651-668.

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BOH 167

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