Book Fairs | February 12, 2013

Important Books of Hours Offered by Les Enluminures at TEFAF

PARIS — LES ENLUMINURES ( gallery is bringing a number of exceptional examples of Illuminated Medieval and Renaissance miniatures, manuscripts and jewelry to the 2013 edition of TEFAF in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from March 15 - 24.

The world’s premier antiques and art show, The European Fine Arts Fair attracts 260 of the most esteemed dealers from 16 countries and is vetted by no less than 29 different committees comprised of 175 world experts. Each year Maastricht attracts the most important museums, collectors and connoisseurs of art. Dealers always bring their most coveted works to the fair.

Les Enluminures will display a remarkable 5th-century gold and garnet Parure.  Dr. Hindman says, “This matched set of jewelry in the polychrome style is typical of Migration-Era goldsmith work.  In a Private Collection since the 1960s, the Parure is composed of eight matched gold pieces all set with sliced garnets, including a large eagle-shaped costume ornament, two fibula, a belt buckle and belt tip, a polyhedral ornament, either originally a hat pin or an earring, and two circular garnet ornaments.”

“The widely dispersed finding sites from the Black Sea to French Gaul have suggested that these jewels follow the route of the famous invader Attila the Hun.  Where they were actually made remains unresolved. Although similar pieces are found in many European and some North American museums, it is rare to uncover today a matched set of this quality and with an old provenance. The eagle with its movable parts is truly exceptional.  Especially unusual also is the elegant belt buckle with its frame composed of carved garnet instead of gold.”

Another standout at Les Enluminures booth in Maastricht is a circa 1475-85 manuscript by the Master of the Burgundian Prelates. 


Dr. Hindman says, “This Book of Hours is particularly rare because of its large scale, its illustrious provenance and its clean, fresh condition.  In 1975 N. Reynaud identified only 14 known examples, when she first isolated this interesting artist’s style and outlined his career.  Although additional examples have come to light in the last quarter century, all known works confirm the artist’s localization in Burgundy and help us refine ideas about his monumental style.  He was active also as a painter.  This manuscript, in Latin and French with 6 large and 14 small miniatures is noteworthy for its large scale and its high quality is consistent with other chef d’oeuvres by the Master, especially the Missal of Richard Chambellan (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 881).”

“In fact, features typical of the artist’s monumental style are found in the present manuscript (likely Dijon, France, Pierre Changelet?).  His distinctive palette, quite unlike that of other artists of his time, combines subdued rose, dark blue, gray, and liquid gold.  His compelling figures are still.  Their softly modeled faces are meditative rather than expressive with eyes averted or turned towards Heaven and restrained gestures of piety and awe.  You can see the unusual pose of the Virgin Mary in Pentecost, as she reads from a pulpit facing away from the viewer, off-stage, as it were.  Drapery is hatched with a mesh of gold lines; architecture and landscapes are often outlined with touches of white.  Characteristic of his compositions are the whimsical landscapes, barren yet painterly.  His static compositions were ideally suited to devotional images.” 

A newly discovered miniature -- much like a diminutive panel painting -- is another highlight at the Les Enluminures exhibition in Maastricht. 

Dr. Hindman says, “Simon Bening (1483-1561) was one of the greatest Flemish illuminators. ‘Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus in the Passion of Christ’ (129 x 85mm) is a single leaf from the Prayerbook of the Enriquez de Ribera family, Flanders, probably Bruges, circa 1508-09.”

“Bening’s work was praised by contemporary international artists, chroniclers and historians alike during his lifetime.  This leaf comes from the Enriquez de Ribera Prayerbook, dismantled in the nineteenth century when four miniatures from it were in the collection of Count Paul Durrieu, Curator of the Louvre Museum.  Of the eleven sister miniatures known today, a number are in museums, including the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Cleveland Museum of Art.   Bening was recognized for his considerable skill as a colorist and as an artist who could portray deep emotions.  Viewers will note the grief-stricken Mary Magdalene, which is especially evident in this fine miniature.”

Sandra Hindman, who twice headed the Art History Department at Northwestern University during her 30-year academic career, founded Les Enluminures gallery in Paris 22 years ago when she opened a gallery opposite the Louvre.  Last year she expanded her business to include a second gallery in an historic New York townhouse at 23 East 73rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

Les Enluminures is among a handful of top ranked sources for the most significant Medieval manuscripts and art entering the market and numbers among its clients the world’s most major museums, libraries and private collectors.  Each year Les Enluminures is a featured exhibitor at prestigious antiques and art fairs in New York, Paris, Florence, San Francisco, Maastricht and London.

Hindman divides her time between her Paris gallery and her offices in Chicago and has written a dozen books and catalogues on the subject.




March 15 - 24 daily 1—7


and at Les Enluminures - Paris

1 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau

75001 Paris

Tel +33 (1) 33 1 42 60 15 58


and at Les Enluminures - New York

23 East 73 Street - 7th floor

New York NY 10021

Tel: 1-212-717-7273