Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank]. Franz Ferdinand MANUSCRIPT PRAYER BOOK ON VELLUM — EBNER, artist.
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank].
Splendid prayers for a musician’s widow

Tägliche Andacht. Frawen Susanna Renata Ebnerin Wittibin gebohrnen Krausin Ferner Viellgeliebsten Frawen Mutter in gehorsamen Ehren beschrieben im Jahr MDCLXV, durch [blank]. [Vienna], 1665.

Manuscript on vellum (191 x 125 mm). 302 leaves, foliated [1], 300, [1], last 3 pages blank except for borders. Calligraphic title within ornamental cartouche border in brown and gold ink (faded), text in dark brown ink in a very fine calligraphic gothic hand, 20-21 lines, faint lead ruling, interlace page borders punctuated with gold dots throughout; three-line and smaller ornamental initials in gold with intricate filigree flourishes, over 40 historiated initials in pen-and-ink and gold, a few with additional silver; headings in larger script with gold highlighting and filigree ornamentation, gold capital strokes throughout. Illustrated with forty-eight pen-and-ink drawings, most with gold highlighting, a few with additional blue ink, of which 17 full-page or nearly so and 31 half-page or smaller; plus six abstract ornamental tail-pieces, and an unidentified coat-of-arms at end in gold, yellow and silver. Two drawings signed Fecit Franc. Ferd. Ebner and F. F. Ebner.
Condition: Title faded and soiled, fols. 263-264 and last few leaves with very small creases with smudges at top, fol. 257 with a slightly oily stain apparently from an erasure, 292r a bit darkened, 296r with small surface blemish or repair at top, last text leaf a bit soiled.
Binding: contemporary plain black shagreen, pair of long narrow metal clasps and catchplates, gilt edges, marbled endleaves; joints restored but lower joint split, vertical crack in spine, inner hinges strengthened with cloth tape, no free endleaves (thus the tape extending into inner margins of the title-leaf and last leaf).
Provenance: written for Susanne Renata Ebner (d. 1696?), female courtier at the Habsburg court, and widow of Wolfgang Ebner (1611-1665), organist and composer; 19th-century ms. shelfmark label at end, no. 2828.***

A luxurious devotional manuscript in German, written and illustrated, almost certainly by one of her children, for Susanna Renata Ebner, née Kraus, soon after the death of her husband Wolfgang Ebner, court organist and composer to Emperor Ferdinand III.

This long and costly manuscript was written on high quality vellum in a flawless calligraphic hand, with extensive use of gold (and occasionally silver) ornamentation and copious illustrations. Included are prayers to Jesus, to various saints, and to the Virgin. The 48 highly varied drawings include portraits of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, scenes from the Passion, and emblematic depictions of the Eucharist, of Christ’s wounds, the Trinity, the Passion, and the Eucharist. Among the final, possibly topical illustrations are a tiny violinist playing before a Crucifixion hanging on a wall (f. 288r) — a reference to the late Wolfgang Ebner?— and a drawing of the Mariensaüle of Vienna, set, unusually, within the text (f. 292r).

The drawings appear to be the work of a single amateur; there is thus no reason to doubt that they were all the work of Franz Ferdinand Ebner, whose signature appears on the drawing of a monstrance on f. 192, and on the full-page Crucifixion on f. 218r. As the illustrations are perfectly integrated into the text and appear to use the same inks and gold illumination, it is likely that Ebner produced the entire manuscript, which is preserved in its original somber funerary binding. A filial connection is clearly stated in the title (“Daily prayers [For] Frau Susanna Renata Ebner Widow née Kraus, and deeply beloved Mother, written in obedient honor, in the year 1665, by --), and one may thus reasonably deduce that Franz Ferdinand was one of Susanna (or Susanne) Renata’s ten children, five of whom were allegedly still alive when she died thirty years later. Susanna’s husband Wolfgang Ebner had died in February 1665, and the manuscript was a labor of love, written for her as a tribute and consolation. The only mystery remains the omission or erasure of the writer’s name from the title.

Wolfgang Ebner (1611-1665), originally from Augsburg, was a highly successful musician and composer. The highest paid organist of the Stephansdom, the cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna, he enjoyed the favor of the music-loving Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, who bestowed upon him not only a monthly retainer but frequent gifts, and who had entrusted him with teaching harpsichord to his son Leopold I. (Reigning Emperor at the time this manuscript was written, Leopold became, like his father, a respectable composer and passionate patron of music.) In 1663 Ebner was made music director (Domkapellmeister) of the cathedral. As a court favorite, therefore, who had accumulated more high honors than any musician yet seen in Vienna, Ebner must have provided well for his family. His wife Susanna, whom he had married in 1636, served from about 1653 as the nurse or governess (Amme or Aya) to an Archduchess and Lady of the Bedchamber at court. While clearly well off, the Ebner family remained bourgeois; there is no record of their ennoblement. Manuscripts of this quality and expense were usually produced only for the aristocracy, making this one most unusual.

The text (which contains virtually no noticeable corrections) opens with prayers for morning and closes with evening prayers. In between are prayers and litanies to Jesus and the Virgin, meditations on the Passion and the Trinity, instructions for Mass and Confession, the Gospel of St. John, prayers for Sundays and Feast Days, the 15 prayers of St. Bridget, and prayers to the Saints listed below. These are illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, in light brown, dark brown, and occasionally blue ink, and gold paint, usually rays or solid halos. Many are set within partial or full ornamental filigree borders, often highlighted in gold. The portraits especially may have been copied from prints. Besides Christ and the Virgin, Joseph and Anne, Old Testament figures and Saints portrayed are: King David, St. Peter, St. Joachim, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Sebastian, St. Roch, St. Rosalia, St. Benno (Bishop of Meissen), St. Carlo Borromeo, St. Bernard, St. Barbara, St. Apollonia, St. Agnes, St. John the Evangelist, St. Otilia, St. Wolfgang of Regensburg, St. Francis, St. Blaise, and St. Bridget.

Throughout the artist displays a familiarity with the visual devotional language of south German Catholicism; this extends to the ornaments, including the many historiated initials showing symbols of the Passion, saints’ instruments of martyrdom and other religious symbols. Besides the two mentioned above, the more unusual drawings include:
- an emblematic scene representing the Passion, showing an angel sleeping on the Cross in a room or workshop, with the Arma Christi, Veronica’s veil, the holy dove at top (f. 26v), and banners SPQR and INRI
- a repentant sinner in Hell (107r)
- Ecce Homo within a zoomorphic foliate border (226v)
- a full-size representation of the wound in Christ’s side (227v)
- an emblematic diagram of the five wounds of Christ: with sideways captions reading “Die weitte und Läng der allerheiligsten wunden Christi ermessen von seinem Speer welches Baiasetes Turkischer Kaiyser[?] Bapst Innocentio dem 8 uberschicktet hat” [Sultan Bayezid II for diplomatic reasons allegedly gave back the Holy Lance to Innocent VIII], and “Das Kreuzlein in der Wunden Christi zu viertzig mahlen gemesszen macht die Läng Christi in seiner H[eiligen] Menschheit” (231v). (On holy measurements, see Jacoby and Barbier de Montault articles cited below.)
- St. Bridget and her Revelations. She is shown as a Bridgettine nun writing, beneath her visions: the Madonna and child, snakes, angels’ heads; beneath her are a tapestry with a coat of arms and, strewn on the floor, a hat, a crown, a staff, and other objects, presumably emblems of the secular life she abandoned. A banner at center contains a sentence from her Revelations: “veritas est quod ego concepta fui sine peccata originali” (244v).
A full list of the drawings is available on request.

On Wolfgang Ebner, see Neue Deutsche Biographie (online); Oxford Music Online; Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart III: 1065-66 (and MGG online, restricted access). On holy measurements see Adolf Jacoby, “Heilige Längenmaße. Eine Untersuchung zur Geschichte der Amulette.” Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde 29 (1929): 181–216 (online); and Xavier Barbier de Montault, “Les Mesures de Dévotion,” Revue de l’Art Chrétien 15 (1881): 360-419 (online).
Item #4142

Price: $26,000.00