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Book of Hours: MS 1-1974

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Masters of the Beady Eyes (Artists)


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.


History note: 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Ghent

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1974) by Grierson, Philip, Prof.


Fifteenth century, third quarter
Circa 1450 CE - Circa 1460 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment Text Height 133 mm Width 78 – 83 mm
Page Height 188 mm Width 132 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [passio]nem crucem et mortem
  • Location: Fol. 8r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 1-1974
Primary reference Number: 170633
Project ID: 100
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Monday 29 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-19 03:22:39

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