Close XYL-27 The Madonna and Child in a Glory with the Instruments of the Passion

 [England (?) or Netherlands (?), c.1480–1500]. Woodcut with Latin inscription.

 Schr. 1053. The Virgin Mary, half-length and with one breast exposed, and Christ child, both with haloes surrounded by a glory, positioned in a double-contoured roundel within a square frame. The Virgin is standing on the crescent moon, and her halo is ornamented with twelve stars. The Christ child is holding the host. In the four corners the bleeding Sacred Heart and instruments of the Passion. Beneath the image a Latin antiphon and prayer based on the doctrine of the immaculate conception, occupying eight lines: ‘Aue sanctissima maria mater dei regina celi porta paradisi domina mundi tu es singularis virgo pura tu concepta sine peccato concepisti iesum sine macula tu peperisti. creatorem et saluatorem mundi in quo ego non dubito ora pro me iesum dilectum filium tuum et libera me ab omnibus malis Amen:. J. C.’ The upper and outer borders are made up of clouds and wavy or serrated lines; the lower border contains the usual indulgence of 11,000 years said to have been granted by Pope Sixtus IV (1471–84): ‘A sixto papa quarto xj .m. ann(i) conced(untur)’. The prayer, which is commonly associated with the devotion to ‘Maria in sole’ and presented as a composition of Pope Sixtus, is printed at [a4r], as an appendix, in the Copie bullarum concilii Basiliensis et Pape Sixti quarti in materiam conceptionis beatissime Marie virginis (Heidelberg: [Heinrich Knoblochtzer, c.1500]; C-412); Hortulus animae, ed. Sebastian Brant and Jakob Wimpfeling (Strasbourg: Johannes Wehinger, 1503), sig. l iiiv; see Paulus, Geschichte des Ablasses, III 297; Haimerl 57 and index s.v. Sixtus IV. The presumed country of origin was originally recorded by Nicholson as ‘?England’, but then changed in his hand to ‘Netherlands’; Dodgson lists the print in his publication on English woodcuts; Schreiber and Sheppard follow Dodgson. The preservation of the unique copy in an English manuscript is not in itself strong evidence for English origin of the woodcut.

ills. Dodgson, ‘English Devotional Woodcuts’, 103; Dodgson, English Woodcuts, fig. 17; The Illustrated Bartsch (Supplement), 164.1053.

refs. Pr 52; Schreiber, Manuel, I 315; Schreiber, Handbuch, II 126; Dodgson, Ashmolean, 35 (Bodl.23); Hind II 738; Dodgson, ‘English Devotional Woodcuts’, 97 and 103–4 (no. 10); Dodgson, English Woodcuts, 10; STC 14077c.19; Griese (in preparation); Nicholson no. 13; Sheppard no. 9.

copy One eighth of a chancery sheet. 155 × 104 mm (woodcut 105 × 75 mm). Chain-lines vertical. No watermark visible. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Uncoloured. Pasted into a manuscript book of hours, according to the use of Sarum (Latin with some rubrics in English), dated by Pächt–Alexander to the second quarter of the fifteenth century. Stitching holes indicate that the print may once have been sewn into a different book. The prickings visible above, at the top of fol. 13v, are likely to have been for a protective curtain to separate the print from the gold illumination on fol. 14r. The calendar, with the translation of St Erconwald, suggests a London provenance. The woodcut is pasted to the otherwise completely blank verso at the end of a set of prayers, facing the opening page of matins of the Hours of the Virgin Mary. Just how early it came to be pasted into the manuscript is not at all clear, for the theme of mariological devotion would still have been of interest to a recusant owner in the later sixteenth century. For the host manuscript, see SC 1971; Pächt–Alexander III no. 922.

Binding: Early eighteenth-century blind-tooled inboard binding for the Bodleian Library, retaining the sewing from an earlier binding. Sprinkled brown tanned leather over heavy millboard. 225 × 146 × 47 mm. The binding retains an earlier all-along sewing on six raised tawed supports, though only the first and last are laced into the boards. The spine has an earlier gold-tooled shelfmark ‘NEċBċ2ċ6’ to the second panel.

Provenance: Ricardus Huggyns or Hyggyns; his name inscribed on fol. iir (second quarter of the fifteenth century?). Henry Himbelton (fl. 1525, †1588); William Thornhill (fl. 1584–1626); inscription ‘Hunc librum inveni in cista Henrici Himbleton et inde accepi June 13 1588, G. Thornhill’ (fol. iiv), indicating that at this time the manuscript was at Worcester Cathedral; see Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum bibliothecae Wigorniensis made in 1622–1623 by Patrick Young, ed. I. Atkins and N. R. Ker (Cambridge, 1944), 13 with notes 1 and 4. Listed in the Bodleian printed catalogue of 1620, and most likely acquired by the library between 1613 and 1620; see SC I 102. Old Bodleian shelfmarks: NE. B. 2. 6; 4o D 3 Th.

shelfmark: MS. Bodl. 113, fol. 13v.