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In your search: beady


Book of Hours


Masters of the Beady Eyes; artists
; production


Iluminated manuscript


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


circa 1450 circa 1460


fifteenth century, third quarter


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, vii paper flyleaves + 113 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 188 x 132 (133 x 78 – 83) mm, 17 (fols. 1 – 91) or 19 (fols. 92 – 112) long lines, ruled in violet (fols. 1 – 91) or pink (fols. 92 – 112) ink.

BINDING: late sixteenth-century, brown leather over pasteboards, sewn on 3 supports, gold-tooled centre design of IHS with Crucifixion above and 3 nails below surrounded by Crown of Thorns and rays, salmon pink and blue endbands, edges stained blue, repaired and rebacked

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 6v Calendar (in Middle Dutch); fols. 7r – 12r Hours of the Cross; fols. 12v – 17v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 18r – 23r Mass of the Virgin
fols. 23r – 27v Gospel Sequences; 28r –31v Obsecro te; fols. 31v – 33v O Intemerata; fols. 34r – 76v Hours of the Virgin; fols. 77r – 91r Penitential Psalms and Litany; fols. 92r – 112v Office of the Dead.

DECORATION: Five large framed miniatures with three-sided gold and pink bar borders, and acanthus, floral and spraywork borders for main text divisions:
fol. 7r Hours of the Cross, Crucifixion, with Mary swooning, St Mary Magdalene, disciples, priests and soldiers; fol. 12v Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost; fol. 18r Mass of the Virgin, Virgin and Child with suppliant angel; fol. 28r Obsecro te, Pietà, with St Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea; fol. 34r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation; fol. 77r Penitential Psalms, Christ in Judgement, displaying Wounds and flanked by trumpeting seraphim, with the dead rising and the Virgin and St John interceding.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue or pink white-patterned initials [4 – 5 ll.] with foliate infill on gold grounds for main text divisions; gold initials [4 ll.] on blue and pink white-patterned grounds with one-sided gold, blue and pink bar-border and spraywork extensions; gold initials [2 ll.] on blue and pink white-patterned grounds; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with black or red pen-flourishing; gold, blue and red geometric linefillers.

Place (legacy):

Flanders, production, region
Ghent, place


penwork; binding


parchment; support
gold; medium


height, page, 188, mm
width, page, 132, mm
height, text, 133, mm
width, text, 78 – 83, mm


given; 1974; Grierson, Philip, Prof.


given by Johannes III de Nollet, Abbot of St Giles, near Liège (1636 – 1656) to his brother Nicholas de Nollet in 1650 (inscription on recto of first flyleaf at front); pressmark ‘Litt. SB’ (recto of first flyleaf at front); inscription: Adolf assier emit. 1724 (inside upper cover); Herbert Charles Marsh (d.1851) (armorial bookplate inside upper cover); cutting from an unidentified Sotheby’s sale, lot 231 inside upper cover; purchased by Professor Phillip Grierson at David’s bookstall, Cambridge, in 1939; his gift, 1974.


Grierson, Philip, Prof.; previous owner
Marsh, Herbert Charles; previous owner
Nicholas de Nollet; previous owner
Johannes III de Nollet, Abbot of St Giles; original owner


secundo folio; fol. 8r; [passio]nem crucem et mortem



Wormald, Francis. Giles, Phyllis M.. 1982. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Additional Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Musuem Acquired between 1895-1979 (excluding the McClean Collection).England: Cambridge University Pressp. 574 – 76

Arnould, A.. Massing, Jean Michel. 1993. The Splendours of Flanders.Cambridge (Cambs.):
cat. no. 17

1975. Gent: Duizend Jaar Kunst en Cultuur.Ghent:

Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. 2009. A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Part One. Vol. 1: The Frankish Kingdoms, Northern Netherlands, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Austria; Vol. II: The Meuse Region, Southern Netherlands.London: Harvey Miller/Brepols
cat. no. 181


Object Number: MS 1-1974
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 170633; input: 2010-01-19; modified: 2017-04-03)


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