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Book of Hours


Master of the Dresden Prayerbook; artist; Flemish, active in Bruges ca. 1480-1515
Master of James IV of Scotland; artist; Flanders illuminator, ca.1488-1525
Painter of Add. MS. 15677; artist
Master of St Michael; artist
; production
; production


illuminated manuscript


book of hours; type of text
use of Rome; liturgical use


circa 1510


Late Gothic


early 16th Century


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf glued onto silk + iv contemporary parchment flyleaves (foliated ii – v) + 185 fols. + i contemporary parchment flyleaf + i paper flyleaf glued onto silk, 196 x 132 (102 x 60) mm, 20 long lines, ruled in pink ink.

BINDING: 19th c., red velvet over wooden boards, two brass clasps on lower cover with catchplates on upper cover, blue silk lining inside covers, edges gilt and gauffered.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fol. 14r – v Salve sancta facies; fols. 15r – 23v Passion according to St John; fols. 25r – 30v Hours of the Cross; fols. 31r – 35v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 36r – 41v Mass of the Virgin; fols. 42r – 46r Gospel Sequences; fols. 47r – 49v Obsecro te; fols. 50r – 98r Hours of the Virgin; fols. 98v – 104v Office of the Virgin in Advent; fol. 105r – 105v Salve Regina; fols. 107r – 122v Penitential Psalms and Litany with collects; fols. 123r – 156r Office of the Dead; fols. 158r – 159v Prayers to the Trinity and to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; fols. 160r – 161r Prayers of St Gregory
fols. 161v – 162v Nine verses of St Bernard; fols. 163r – 164v O intemerata
fols. 165r – 185v Suffrages.

DECORATION: Twenty-four full landscape and cityscape borders in Calendar depicting labours of the months and Zodiac signs within medallions in the sky:
fol. 1r January, Man and woman feasting and warming by fire, Aquarius; fol. 1v Winter cityscape with people in sleigh; fol. 2r February, Pruning trees, Pisces; fol. 2v Farm scene, pruning trees; fol. 3r March, Digging, Aries; fol. 3v Garden scene, owner instructing gardeners; fol. 4r April, Pastoral scene, milking cow, sheep put out to pasture, Taurus; fol. 4v Young couple hunting; fol. 5r May, Suitor courting young woman, musicians serenading below, Gemini; fol. 5v Boating party on river; fol. 6r June, Mowing, Cancer; fol. 6v Haymaking; fol. 7r July, Reaping, Leo; fol. 7v Bailing sheaves; fol. 8r August, Threshing sheaves, Virgo; fol. 8v Winnowing; fol. 9r September, Harvesting grapes, Libra; fol. 9v Treading grapes; fol. 10r October, Ploughing, Scorpio; fol. 10v Sowing; fol. 11r November, Threshing acorns for pigs, Sagittarius; fol. 11v Swineherd selling pigs; fol. 12r December, Roasting pig, Capricorn; fol. 12v Cityscape in winter.

Three full-page miniatures with full borders: fol. 13v Salve sancta facies, Christ as Salvator mundi holding orb and blessing, architectural border with saints in niches and St Veronica with the Vernicle; fol. 24v Hours of the Cross, Crucifixion with the Virgin, St John, two holy women, and soldiers, architectural border with Passion scenes within roundels: Agony in the Garden, Betrayal, Christ before Pilate, Flagellation, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, Entombment; fol. 157v Prayers to the Trinity, God the Father enthroned, holding wounded Son, Holy Spirit between them, with full strewn-flower border on compartmentalised blue and brushed gold grounds.

Twenty-four large framed miniatures with full borders: fol. 15r Passion according to St John, Agony in the Garden, landscape border showing Christ addressing the Apostles after his prayer and his arrest; fol. 31r Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, full strewn-flower border; fol. 42r Gospel Sequences, St John on Patmos receiving vision of the Virgin and Child; fol. 50r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, landscape border showing God addressing Moses from the Burning Bush and Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law; fol. 107r Penitential Psalms, David penitent, landscape border with battlefield and an army camp outside city; fol. 123r Office of the Dead, Three Living and Three Dead, architectural border with skulls and corpse; fol. 160r Prayers of St Gregory, Mass of St Gregory, border with Instruments of the Passion; fol. 161v Verses of St Bernard, St Bernard with chained devil; fol. 165r Suffrages, St Michael and the devil, architectural border with clock, rosaries, sword, shield, and processional staff; fol. 166r St Peter with book and keys and St Paul with sword, architectural border; fol. 167r St Andrew with saltire cross, strewn-flower border; fol. 168v St Philip with processional cross and St James with staff and book, architectural border; fol. 170r St Lawrence with book and gridiron, strewn-flower border; fol. 171r Martyrdom of St Sebastian, architectural border; fol. 173r St George slaying the dragon, strewn-flower border; fol. 174v St Nicholas restoring three youths to life, strewn-flower border; fol. 175v St Anthony with book, staff, and pig, architectural border with a scallop shell and Cordeliers; fol. 176v St Martin dividing cloak with beggar, strewn-flower border; fol. 177v St Claude preaching, architectural border; fol. 179r St Anne and the Virgin adoring the Christ Child, Holy Spirit above, strewn-flower border; fol. 180r St Catherine with book and sword, architectural border; fol. 181r St Margaret emerging from dragon, compartmentalised panel border with strewn flowers, acanthus, and birds; fol. 182r St Barbara with book and palm branch within enclosed garden, tower beside her, architectural border; fol. 183v St Apollonia with book and pincers, architectural border.

Two small framed miniatures within text-block incorporating initials in gold ink:
fol. 36r Mass of the Virgin, St Luke painting the Virgin, initial E within arched frame, full border with Tree of Jesse; fol. 105r Salve Regina, Virgin and Child clothed in the sun and seated on the crescent moon, one-sided strewn-flower panel border.

Eight historiated initials in white-patterned blue or pink on gold grounds with full borders: fol. 25r Hours of the Cross, [D, 8 ll.] Harrowing of Hell, full architectural border with scenes within roundels: Resurrection, Three Holy Women and Angel at tomb, Noli me tangere, Supper at Emmaus, Doubting Thomas, Christ appearing to Mary and disciples, Ascension; fol. 65r Hours of the Virgin, Lauds, [D, 9 ll.] Visitation, full acanthus border with birds and butterfly; fol. 74r Prime, [D, 9 ll.] Creation of Eve, landscape border with Octavian’s vision; fol. 78r Terce, [D, 9 ll.] Annunciation to the Shepherds, full strewn-flower border; fol. 82r Sext, [D, 9 ll.] Adoration of the Magi, landscape border wild men and a merman jousting with wild man; fol. 85r None, [D, 9 ll.] Presentation in the Temple, landscape border with Jacob’s dream; fol. 89r Vespers, [D, 8 ll.] Massacre of the Innocents, strewn-flower border; fol. 95r Compline, [C, 9 ll.] Flight into Egypt, architectural border with flower pots in niches; fol. 159v Prayer to the Father, [D, 5 ll.] God the Father holding orb and blessing, one-sided acanthus and strewn-flower panel border; fol. 159r Prayer to the Son, [D, 4 ll.] Man of Sorrows, one-sided acanthus and strewn-flower panel border; fol.159v Prayer to the Holy Spirit, [D, 4 ll.] Dove of the Holy Spirit, one-sided strewn-flower panel border.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold acanthus initial [S, 8 ll.] with bird on pink ground and full border with peacock feathers (fol. 14r); grey initials [1 – 4 ll.] with graded foliate ornament on russet grounds with foliate motifs in liquid gold; one-sided strewn-flower panel borders, often compartmentalised, on every text page; line fillers with grisaille acanthus and liquid gold foliate and geometric motifs on russet grounds.