, production, Florence
book of hours; type of text
use of Rome; liturgical use
mid 15th century
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i parchment flyleaf + 272 fols. + i parchment flyleaf, 95 x 66 mm (54 x 36 mm), 11 long lines, ruled in ink and plummet, catchwords, leaf lost between fols. 65 and 66
BINDING: Sixteenth century, dark red and black leather over pasteboards with elaborate gilt decoration, showing a putto holding an orb at the centre of the upper cover, repeated with torch on lower cover, within frames of foliate motifs and ruled lines, two metal clasps on lower cover, two catchplates on upper cover, edges gilt.
fols. 1r–12v Calendar
fols. 13r–171v Hours of the Virgin
fols. 172v–177v Short Hours of the Cross
fols. 179r–241r Office of the Dead
fols. 242v–296v Penitential Psalms and Litany (ends imperfectly)
DECORATION: Full-page framed miniature with full border containing flowers, putti, birds and spray-work with an unidentified shield of arms within a laurel roundel in the lower bar (azure, a bend dancette argent, with initials LO): fol. 13v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Joachim taking offering to the Temple.
Nine full-page miniatures in frames formed of segments of pink, blue and green laurel within gold bands, surrounded by pen flourishing: fol. 45v Hours of the Virgin, Prime, Joachim's offering rejected; fol. 52v Terce, Joachim at prayer; fol. 59v Sext, St Anne in bed receiving a visitor, with a peacock above on the roof; fol. 72v Vespers, St Anne and Joachim at the Golden Gate; fol. 84v Compline, Nativity of the Virgin, with Joachim and midwives; fol. 91v Office for Sunday, Virgin explaining vow to the High Priest, Joseph in crowd; fol. 172v Short Hours of the Cross, Christ as Man of Sorrows with the Virgin and St Mary Magdalene; fol. 231v Office of the Dead, Marriage of the Virgin; fol. 242v Penitential Psalms, David penitent in pit.
Seven historiated initials in blue, orange, purple and green on gold grounds, with full floral and acanthus borders containing putti, birds, and animals, and facing the miniatures on the preceding versos: fol. 14r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 7 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 46r Prime, [D, 7 ll.] David praying in water; fol. 53r Terce, [D, 5 ll.] Female bust in prayer, rays descending; fol. 60r Sext, [D, 6 ll.] Bust of helmed woman; fol. 73r Vespers, [D, 6 ll.] Bust of young woman; fol. 85r Compline, [C, 6 ll.] Young woman (possibly a nun) with open book; fol. 243r Penitential Psalms, [D, 6 ll.] David playing Psaltery.
ORNAMENTATION: Three foliate initials [5–6 ll.] on gold grounds with full borders of flowers, putti, birds and acanthus for some main text divisions (173r, 175r, 232r); alternate blue and gold initials [2-3 ll.] with red and violet pen-flourishing for lesser divisions; similar initials [1 l.] for minor divisions; Calendar copied in red and black.
Unidentified shield of arms (fol. 13v); purchased by the Museum in 1892.
Although the Calendar and Litany contain no local features, the style points to Florence. The dense and intensely coloured borders of acanthus, penwork, gold discs, putti and birds strongly recall those in a series of liturgical manuscripts made in Florence in the 1440s and 1450s (Florence 2003, 168-84). The closest comparison is with a Lectionary illuminated by Battista di Biagio Sanguini (1392/1393-1451) and Zanobi Strozzi (1412-1468) for Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence, Biblioteca Laurenziana, MS Edil. 146 (Garzelli 1985, I, 15; Florence 2003, no. I. 48). The emphasis on marriage and child birth in the miniatures and the presence of female busts in the initials suggest that the manuscript was intended for a woman.
secundo folio; fol. 15r; rex eternae gloriae
James, Montague Rhodes, Dr. 1895. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. 341-43
Lafontaine-Dosogne, J.. 1964-1965. Iconographie de l'enfance de la Vierge dans l'Empire byzantin et en Occident.Brussels:
II, p. 35
Object Number: MS 150
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 118709; input: 2005-05-31; modified: 2015-08-11)