Paris: Simon Du Bois for Geoffroy Tory, 22 October 1527. 4to (196 x 139 mm). Collation: a-r8 s4. 140 leaves, bâtarde type, title printed in red and black, initials and headings printed in red throughout, printer's "pot cassé" device (Bernard, no. 9) on title and on verso of last leaf, each page within a four-part woodcut border of flowers, insects, animals and other ornaments, 13 large outline woodcuts, including the Annunciation on two facing pages, ruled in red. 18th-century French marbled calf gilt, edges gilt. Front joint repaired; slight marginal worming, repaired. Provenance: Pierre Bosuiel (bookplate); from the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, purchased from Georges Heilbrun, 1968. Item #401671
A FINE COMPLETE COPY OF THE THIRD TORY HOURS, AND THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THESE ILLUSTRATIONS AND BORDERS. Each of Tory’s three sets of Horae woodcuts represents an independent cycle of design. The renewed privilege granted to Tory on 5 September 1526 appears in both this edition (on a1v-a2r) as well as the octavo edition completed in Simon de Colines' shop on the previous day. This edition, however, contains the first use of the illustrations and borders “à la moderne” previously mentioned in the privilege of his 1524/25 Horae, which used the woodcuts of his "à l'antique" set.
"Every page is enclosed in a charming border composed, after the manner of illuminated manuscripts, of detached flowers, fruit, foliage, birds, beasts, insects, &c., all in outline, the various portions of the blocks being combined in endless variety throughout. At the foot of each page is seen either a coat-of-arms or a device, personal or otherwise" (Fairfax Murray). Mortimer considered them somewhat less effective in their uncolored state than Tory’s earlier "antique" set, and Pollard suggests that both borders and illustrations were intended to be filled in by an illuminator, as the designs are reminiscent of manuscript Hours. Striking among the illustrations is the dramatic use of black for Death's horse (and black crow flying overhead) in the Triumph of Death illustration, as well as the black figure for one of the Kings in the Adoration of the Magi. Each of the first three Tory Horae contain different cuts and borders, the second with colophon dated 21 October 1527 is printed in octavo format in roman type. Brun, p.232; Bohatta 330; Fairfax-Murray French 279; Harvard/Mortimer French 304; Lacombe 364-371. Fact and Fantasy 21.