Book of Hours, Use of Paris


Book of Hours, Use of Paris

French (probably Paris), early 15th century

fols. 44v-45r: Annunciation to the Shepherds (Hand B)
fols. 92v-93r: Crucifixion
fols. 100v-101r: Pentecost
fols. 106v-107r: Text Page and Mass of the Dead.
fols. 127v-128r: Text pages from the Office of the Dead
fols. 140v-141r: Text page beginning Fifteen Joys of the Virgin, initial D with Virgin and Child

Language: Latin and French

height 17 cm
width 12.5 cm

152 leaves (17 x 12.5 cm.). Pointed Gothic script. 14 lines. Gatherings mostly of 8. Text in Latin and French: Calendar, Gospel Lessons, seven salutations to St. Barbara (inserted), Hours of the Virgin, Psalms, Litany, Hours of the Cross, of the Holy Spirit, of the dead, Fifteen Joys of the Virgin, Prayers. 10 miniatures, 2 historiated initials and ivy vine borders with gold leaf. Binding: French, mottled brown calf with gilt ornament, 18th c.

Prior Publication: Lackaff, Dalene G., A descriptive catalogue of the manuscript books of hours in the collection of the Mount Angel Abbey Library, M.A. Thesis, University of Oregon, 1999

Provenance: Chas. W. Reynell (inscription); Scribner’s, N.Y.l Mr. and Mrs. S. Eberly Thompson collection (Ms. 5)

Mount Angel Abbey Library, Ms 64


Jeff Brown, Medieval Portland Research Assistant

This prayerbook, unlike most of the others surveyed by Lackaff, has benefited from a careful rebinding, probably during the eighteenth century; worn, stained, and even missing pages speak to the manuscript’s prior lack of care. Saints included in the calendar hail from northern France and Paris. The composition and style of the illuminations suggest a degree of influence of the workshop of the Boucicaut Master of the early fifteenth century and that of the Pseudo-Jacquemart, both from the Paris region. Three artists of varying talent and attention to detail contributed to this work, which likely was commissioned by a member of the Parisian mercantile middle class.


Diebold, William. The Illustrated Book in the Age of Printing: Books and Manuscripts from Oregon Collections. Portland, OR: Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, 1993, p. 6 - Quoted with permission

This opening displays the three most important forms of medieval book decoration: the painted miniature, the decorated initial, and the ornamented border. The only manuscript on display [refers to exhibit from which this text was a catalog entry] that was certainly made before the invention of printing, this book represents the manuscript aesthetic in its pure form. Although the first printed books in many ways look like manuscripts, much of the decoration of richly illustrated manuscripts such as this one could not be duplicated mechanically. No fifteenth-century printer could reproduce the delicate borders, the richness of the gold paint, or the variety of colors used in this manuscript.


Wilma Fitzgerald, PhD, SP - Quoted with permission from an unpublished study

Liber horarum. Saec. XV in. FF. i (paper) + 152 + i (paper).168 x 125 (90 x 57) mm. Miniatures and historiated initials:(12 miniatures by Pseudo-Jacquemart and Egerton Master.) Annunciation, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt, Presentation in the temple, God the Father enthroned in majesty, Crucifixion, Pentecost, Virgin and Child in initial D, Christ with instruments of the Passion in initial P. Full borders, including painted panel frames, on fols. 20, 74, 93, 101, 107; full borders without panels on pages with other small miniatures and historiated initials, decorated ivy borders of gold and black on pages with 2-line initials. Three-line initials in gold, red, and blue beneath miniatures. Numerous 1- and 2-line initials and line endings in gold, red, and blue. Modern binding of mottled greenish-brown leather. Front and back covers framed in gold. Spine stamped with gold ornaments and letters "M D". see Peter Parshall, Illuminated Manuscripts # 4. Gift of Mrs. S. Eberly-Thompson December 1984. Obtained from Charles W. Reynell (inscription of flyleaf A), English bookdealer (cutting from printed catalogue inside front cover).

Calendar in French; Gospel excerpts; 7 Salutations of Barbara, Ave virgo gloriosa Barbara, (Chev. #2204); 5 Joys of Barbara, Ave Barbara regina; Hymn to Barbara, Ave trinum luciferum (mut. Chev.# 23902); Hours of the Virgin, use of Paris; 7 Penitential Psalms; Litany and prayers; Hours of the Cross; Hours of the Holy Spirit; Office of the Dead; 15 Joys of the Virgin in French (Leroquais II, 309).