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Book of Hours: MS 1058-1975

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Artist: Master of the Dresden Prayerbook
Artist: Master of James IV of Scotland
Artist: Painter of Add. MS. 15677
Artist: Master of St Michael




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.


History note: Over-painted arms of contemporary or early owner surmounted by cardinal’s hat and enclosed within architectural frame (fol. iv verso); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (d.1893) (bookplate on paper flyleaf at front); Lord Malcolm of Poltalloch (as executor of John Malcolm); acquired by Charles William Dyson Perrins (1864 – 1958) in 1906 (his label with no. 105 on paper flyleaf at front, his label with no. 64 on paper flyleaf at end); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 9 December 1958, lot 38; Henry Davis (1897 – 1977); his gift, 1975.

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges
  • Ghent

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1975) by Davis, Henry


16th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1510


Master of the Dresden Prayer Book, Master of James IV of Scotland, Painter of Add. MS 15677

School or Style

Late Gothic

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 102 mm Width 60 mm
Page Height 196 mm Width 132 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: de sancta facie
  • Location: F. 14r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 1058-1975
Primary reference Number: 170636
Project ID: 103
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 23 November 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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