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Cutting from the Hastière Bible

  • Object:

    Manuscript cutting

  • Place of origin:

    Southern Netherlands (made)
    Namur (probably made near Namur, made)

  • Date:

    14th century (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 67

Physical description

Historiated initial O showing Habakkuk carrying a jug and an angel with a portable organ behind him, on burnished gold ground. Habakkuk was ordered by the angel to deliver a jug of stew to Daniel in the lions’ den.
This initial marks the beginning of the Book of Habakkuk, starting 'Onus quod vidit Abacuc propheta...'.
Instructions to the illuminator in the margin to the left.

Place of Origin

Southern Netherlands (made)
Namur (probably made near Namur, made)


14th century (made)

Object history note

Probably commissioned by the couple depicted in the Crucifixion scene (Museum no. 279:1) identified by the scrolls they hold as Johans de Hastières and Magrite de Matetio (?) Voisia. The cleric depicted kneeling before Christ (?) (Museum no. 246:10), called 'Egidius de Romereet' would also have been involved in the commissioning of the Bible, which was in multiple volumes. May have been made in the region of Hastière, south of Namur.
Purchased from J. and S. Goldschmidt as part of three portfolios (now Museum nos 234-296) designated as a 'Illuminations: a collection of 338 specimens, pages and cuttings' for the total sum of £100.0.0, received on 15 October 1872; passed on for Register in April 1874 (see Register of Drawings).
Cuttings from the same manuscript in the V&A collection: 246:7, 246:8, 246:9, 246:10, 260:1, 260:2, 260:3, 260:4, 260:5, 260:6, 260:7, 279:1, 279:2.

Cuttings from the same manuscript in other collections: Philadelphia, Free Library; Nuremberg, Nationalmuseum; Paris, Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts; Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung; Zeileis collection and on the market. For full details, see Peter Kidd, 'Leaves and Cuttings from the Hastière Bible', in Medieval Manuscripts Provenance blog, 2016.

Descriptive line

Cutting with historiated initial O showing Habakkuk, from the Hastière Bible, Southern Netherlands, 14th century.
A duplicate number MS.220 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

pp. 27-28 (as Netherlandish, 14th century; nos 213-226).
Catalogue of illuminated manuscripts : Part II, Miniatures, leaves, and cuttings, by S.C. Cockerell and E.F. Strange (London: HMSO, 1908, 1st edition).
pp. 22-23 (as Netherlandish, 14th century).
Catalogue of Miniatures, Leaves, and Cuttings from Illuminated Manuscripts. Victoria and Albert Museum. Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, by S.C. Cockerell and C. Harcourt Smith (London: HMSO, 1923, 2nd edition).
Peter Kidd, 'Bible leaves in Philadelphia, London, and Paris, 1 October 2016', 'Two more leaves from the Hastière Bible', 24 December 2016, 'One more leaf from the Hastière Bible', 27 December 2016, and a list of all located surviving leaves and cuttings 'Leaves and cuttings from the Hastière Bible', in Medieval Manuscripts Provenance blog [accessed 16/04/2020].


Parchment; Pigments; Ink




Manuscript cutting; Medieval and renaissance; Christianity; Manuscripts

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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