Paris, Gilles Hardouin .
Agenda 8vo (133 x 61/2 mm.).  leaves. [xiii], p. a8 B-K8 L4 ($4, first recto of every quire signed in majuscule and the next three rectos signed in minuscule), gothic type (59), 37 lines per page, text block 112 x 43/4 mm. PRINTED IN RED AND BLACK, calendar 1508-1520. Contemporary rubrication of one- and two-line initials executed in red and blue and heightened in gold; seventeen metalcuts in the style of Jean Pichore in contemporary color and in gold ink architectural frames (in four cases over ornamental metalcut border strips), the small text cut also colored; a metalcut Hardouin title device (Renouard, Marques 432), lightly ruled in red.
Red morocco, panels and spine with gilt rules and blind floral roll (rubbed), gilt-lettered title, plain edges.
ONLY COPY KNOWN OF THIS JEWEL, twice as tall as wide — as well suited for display at church as for meditation in private.
Gilles Hardouin only printed Books of Hours, in this case in Latin and French. He competed in every market: grand to humble to exotic. Here the unusually narrow format disturbed Hardouin’s customary illustration cycle. It is clear from the virtual absence of printed decorative borders around the illustrations that the printer intended this edition to have the images enclosed in illuminated architectural frames.
THE COLOR AND GOLD HEIGHTENING IN THIS EXAMPLE CAN BE ASSIGNED TO THE ILLUMINATION WORKSHOP OVERSEEN BY GILLES’ BROTHER, GERMAIN HARDOUIN. The date of 1508 for the present edition is likely secure, as another agenda octavo from Gilles’ press survives with a calendar for 1509-20. In good condition, pencil acquisition note dated April 34 of Georges Petit de Grandvoir (1878-1956).
¶Eggimann, Catalogue 23 (1933) 10329 (this copy, marked “sold”).