Treasures of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library: Manuscripts

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Book of Hours. Use of Paris.
Paris. Circa 1460-1465.
Book of Hours. Click to enlarge.

A richly decorated manuscript of personal prayers, psalms and recitations for use by the laity at the eight canonical hours of the day. The central text of such manuscripts was the "Little Office of Our Lady" or, "The Hours of the Virgin" and it is from this text that the boopk derives its name. The accompaning illustrations, or miniatures, for this central text are taken from the Christmas story though other decorations could be supplied for any additional texts which may be included. In this volume for example a total of some seventeen miniatures is to be found.

The style of decoration in these miniatures, and in the border decoration which is to be found on almost every page, indicate that the work was produced around 1460 in a workshop identified as that of the Master of the Horloge de Sapience, probably for a female patron. The manuscript was certainly in Paris by the early sixteenth century when it was in the possession of Sister Anne la Routye, a nun of the Hostel of God.

See other Book of Hours illustrations.

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