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Book of Hours: MS 157

Object information


Book of Hours


Albrecht of Breslau (Scribe)


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 174 fols. + ii paper flyleaves, 83 x 65 (54 x 40) mm, 15 long lines, ruled in black ink and plummet, silk curtains bound between fols. 62v – 63r, 109v – 110r, 132v – 133r, 149v – 150r, 152v – 153r.

BINDING: 19th century, green leather over pasteboards, metal clasp closing back to front, edges gilt and gauffered.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 61v Hours of the Virgin, with Memoriae at Lauds; fols. 63r – 109r Office of the Dead; fols. 110r – 133r Penitential Psalms and Litany with collects; fols. 133v – 135v Gradual Psalms interspersed with prayers, including two from the funeral service with male and female forms, and two sets of versicles provided with German rubrics and used in the context of extreme unction (fols. 135r – 135v); fols. 136r – 149r Office of Compline; fols. 150r – 152r Sequence Ave virgo stella; fol. 152r – 152v Sequence Rector celi; fols. 153r – 155r Christ’s Seven Words on the Cross; fols. 155v – 156r Eight verses of St Bernard; fol. 156v Prayer Omnipotens sempiterne deus; fols. 157r – 158r Prayer of St Augustine, Gratias tibi ago domine; fols. 158v – 161v Two prayers in German, O du aller and O du brunn; fols. 162v – 165r Prayers to the Holy Face in German; fols. 165v – 166v Gospel Sequence of St John; fols. 166v – 167v Hymn Veni creator spiritus; fols. 168r – 171v Suffrages, including one each for the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Sts Magdalene, Paul, Thomas and Barbara
fols. 171v – 172v Prayers of the Confraternity of St Catherine’s, the Dominican convent in Augsburg; fol. 173r Hec est dies; fols. 173v – 174r Memoria for the Holy Face (addition).

DECORATION: Five full-page framed miniatures (except fol. 152v, large miniature with two lines of text above it), with full acanthus and floral borders on plain parchment grounds at major text divisions: fol. 62v Office of the Dead, St John on Patmos, with eagle and vision of Virgin and Child clothed in the Sun and standing on Crescent Moon; fol. 109v Penitential Psalms, St Paul falling from horse amidst rain of stones; fol. 149v Sequence Ave virgo stella, Doubting Thomas; fol. 152v Christ’s Seven Words on the Cross, Crucifixion with Virgin, St John, St Dominic and dog; fol. 162r Prayers to the Holy Face, St Veronica with Vernicle.

Three small framed bas-de-page miniatures with partial acanthus and floral borders for Memoriae at Lauds and prayer: fol. 23v Martyrdom of St Catherine; fol. 29v Martyrdom of St Dorothy, Christ Child with basket of flowers; fol. 133r Collect Miserere que sumus, Carrying of the Cross, St Veronica with Vernicle.

Two historiated initials in shaded blue acanthus design on gold grounds with full (fol. 1r) and one-sided (fol. 63r) acanthus and floral borders:
fol. 1r Hours of the Virgin, [A, 8 ll.] St Anne with Virgin and Child, in border angel holding arms of Welser family; fol. 63r Office of the Dead, [O, 6 ll.] souls praying in Purgatory, two angels above.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue, green or magenta initials [3 – 6 ll.] with shaded acanthus design on gold grounds and full or partial acanthus and floral borders including animals, birds, grotesques and figures related to the text, e.g. St Mary Magdalene with ointment jar (fol. 110r), holy virgin (fol. 122v), St Barbara with chalice and wafer (fol. 171r); alternate red and blue penwork initials [3 – 5 ll.] with occasional foliage extensions or reserved ornament; alternate red and blue one-line penwork initials; capitals highlighted in red; cadels in lower margins.


History note: Completed in 1501 for Veronica Welser, Dominican nun at the convent of St Catherine’s, Augsburg (colophon on fol. 172v, arms of Welser family on fol. 1r); stated to have been in the Hamilton Collection (James 1895, 353), but not identified in the catalogue of the collection of Alexander Douglas Hamilton (1767 – 1852), tenth Duke of Hamilton, privately printed by Sotheby’s in 1882 or in that prepared when the Prussian State re-sold the collection via Trübner, Strasbourg, at Sotheby’s, London, 23 May 1889; purchased by Samuel Sandars (1837 – 1894); his gift to the Museum, 1892.

Place(s) associated

  • Augsburg

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1892) by Sandars, S.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment Text Height 54 mm Width 40 mm
Page Height 83 mm Width 65 mm

Techniques used in production

Penwork Illumination

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: salutari nostro
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 157
Primary reference Number: 169657
Project ID: 226
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020 Last processed: Monday 15 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-04 13:53:28

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of Hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-04 13:53:28|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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