RARE Red Morocco Antique French Religious Prayer Book Psalter Heures de Noailles

***SOLD***The book of hours has its ultimate origin in the Psalter, which monks and nuns were required to recite. By the 12th century this had developed into the breviary, with weekly cycles of psalms, prayers, hymns, antiphons, and readings which changed with the liturgical season.

This richly bound example originates from the Champagne region of France and dates 1773. It was published in Paris by Chez Herissant, rue Notre Dame.

The red Morocco (the most expensive leather used in bookbinding of the period) binding is sumptuously ornamented with a wide hand tooled frame. Each arabesque, leaf, dot and flower which is impressed onto the binding is the work of a craftsman using a singular tool dipped in gilt. The spine has raised bands which form compartments filled by hand tooled arabesques, flowers and half globes. The title "Heures de Noailles" is hand tooled in the second compartment. The inner endpapers are of the beautiful marbled paper typical of eighteenth century French bindings. The inner leather turn ins are gilt tooled with repeating arches. The page edges are gilt tipped.

The text was ordered to be printed by the Cardinal Noailles. Louis Antoine de Noailles received his doctorate in theology from the Sorbonne on 14 March 1676. He was appointed bishop of Cahors in March 1679 but served only briefly before Pope Innocent XI ordered him transferred in 1680 to head the diocese of Châlons-sur-Marne, which made him a peer of France. On 19 August 1695, in recognition of Noailles's family connections, King Louis XIV made him archbishop of Paris and Duke of Saint-Cloud, and in 1700 Pope Innocent XII made him a cardinal.

The text is written in both Latin and French. It includes both morning and evening prayers, instructions for fetes and Sundays, and prayers and instructions for individual days and seasons within the ecclesiastic year. There is one engraving and a manuscript prayer which were tucked inside the binding (not bound but placed by someone as a memento).

The binding measures: 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 2" thick. It is in very good condition for the advanced age: very slight wear to cover boards, one ink stain on back cover board, light wear to binding edges. Please review the photos as they are the most clear description.

This is an exquisite and rare eighteenth century red morocco bound title.

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