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Book of Hours: MS 54

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Binder: Winter, Annie




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii parchment flyleaves + 175 fols. + ii parchment flyleaves, 170 x 116 (100 x 67) mm, 20 long lines, ruled in dark pink ink. Two leaves excised and heavily trimmed: MS 1261-1985 163 x 109 mm;
MS 1262-1985 161 x 96 mm

BINDING: 1991, alum-tawed goatskin over wooden boards, by Annie Winther; previous binding preserved: 19th century, red leather over cushioned wooden boards, gold- and blind-tooled centre and edge design.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 6v Calendar; fols. 7v – 15v Fifteen Oes; fols. 16v – 36v Suffrages; fols. 37v – 72v Hours of the Virgin, with memoriae at Lauds; fols. 73r – 77v Salve Regina (in rhyming verse); fols. 78r – 80v Obsecro te; fols. 80v – 82v O intemerata; fols. 83r – 86r Seven Joys of the Virgin; fols. 86v – 89r Prayer before the Crucifix and other prayers to Christ; fols. 89r – 91v Prayers to the Virgin and St John the Evangelist; fols. 92r – 96r Bede’s prayer on the Seven Last Words; fols. 96r – 96v Indulgenced prayer Domine Ihesu Christi qui hanc sacratissimum sanguinem; fols. 97v – 114v Penitential Psalms and Litany
fols. 115v – 138v Office of the Dead; fols. 139v – 153r Commendation of the soul; fols. 154v – 159v Psalms of the Passion; fols. 160r – 175v Psalter of St Jerome with rubricated introduction.

DECORATION: Seventeen full-page framed miniatures with full acanthus and floral borders on plain parchment at major text divisions: fol. 7v Fifteen Oes, Christ standing on orb, blessing with open book, and flanked by angels; fol. 16v Suffrages, Throne of Mercy Trinity; fol. 19v St John the Baptist pointing at lamb on book; fol. 21v St John the Evangelist with chalice; fol. 23v St George slaying dragon; fol. 25v St Christopher carrying Christ Child; fol. 27v St Anne teaching the Virgin to read; fol. 29v St Mary Magdalene with ointment jar; fol. 31v St Catherine with wheel, sword and executioner; fol. 33v St Barbara beside tower; fol. 35v St Margaret emerging from dragon; fol. 37v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Agony in the Garden; fol. 97v Penitential Psalms, David penitent; fol. 115v Office of the Dead, Funeral service; fol. 139v Commendation of the soul, Souls borne up to Heaven; fol. 154v Psalms of the Passion, Christ as Man of Sorrows with Instruments of the Passion; fol.162v Psalter of St Jerome, St Jerome.

Four large framed miniatures with full acanthus and floral borders on plain parchment for remaining Hours of the Virgin: fol. 45r Hours of the Virgin Lauds, Betrayal; MS 1261-1985 (originally verso of leaf between fols. 57 – 58) Hours of the Virgin, Prime, Christ before Pilate; fol. 61v Terce, Flagellation; fol. 64v Sext, Carrying of the Cross;

Twenty-one small framed miniatures inset in text-block with three-sided acanthus and foliage borders on plain parchment for memoriae at Lauds and prayers to Christ and Mary: fol. 52v Memoriae, Holy Spirit; fol. 53v St Michael; fol. 54r St Lawrence; MS 1262-1985 (originally leaf between fols. 53 – 54) Saints Peter and Paul (recto), St Andrew (verso); fol. 54v St Stephen; fol. 55r St Nicholas; fol. 57r Chalice and Host on altar; fol. 73r Salve Regina, Virgin and Child; fol. 83r Seven Joys of the Virgin, Presentation of the Virgin to the Temple; fol. 86v Prayers to the Crucifix, Angels praying at empty tomb, three empty Tau crosses; fol. 87r head of Christ; fol. 87v wounded right hand, wounded left hand; fol. 88r five wounds; fol. 88v wounded right foot, wounded left foot; fol. 89r Virgin and Child rayed in glory; fol. 89v St John the Evangelist drawing serpent from chalice; fol. 92r Bede’s prayer on the Seven Last Words, Crucifixion with gold chalices receiving Christ’s blood.

ORNAMENTATION: Pink or blue white-patterned initials [6 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds and full acanthus and foliage borders on plain parchment for major text divisions; gold initials [2 ll.] on blue and pink white-patterned grounds with foliate extensions for memoriae at Lauds and lesser text divisions; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with black or red pen-flourishing; pink and blue linefillers with gold balls.


History note: Made for a woman in Ireland, probably County Cork, as suggested by the feasts of Saints Gobnata, Kieran and Finbar included in the Calendar (Sarum) by the original scribe; the Calendar also contains notes on the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury (1471) entered in contemporary hand; Sir Thomas Selby who gave it to Sir Ralph Thoresby of Leeds (d. 1725) (inscription, fol. 1r); Edward Petre (bookplate inside upper cover); Samuel Sandars (1837 – 1894); his gift to the Museum, 1892. MSS 1261-1985 and 1262-1985, which had been excised from the manuscript at an unknown date, were purchased from Maggs Bros. by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1985.

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1892) by Sandars, Samuel


15th Century, fourth quarter
Circa 1480 CE - Circa 1490 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 100 mm Width 67 mm
Page Height 170 mm Width 116 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: alienis induebaris
  • Location: Fol. 9r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 54
Primary reference Number: 169715
Project ID: 63
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-20 23:42:57

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