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Illuminated manuscript - Book of hours, use of Rome

Book of hours, use of Rome

  • Object:

    Illuminated manuscript

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)
    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1380-1400 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pigments and gold on parchment. Leather binding.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Reid in 1902.

  • Museum number:

    MSL/1902/1643 (Reid 1)

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

Physical description

Foliation: parchment. i-ii (18th-century paper, no watermark), iii (14th-century parchment, foliated f. 1) + 130 (foliated ff. 2-131) + iv-v (18-th century paper) ff.

Number of lines: 20 lines.

Language: Latin and French.

Script: gothic Textura bookhand.

Textual content:
ff.1r-1v: Suffrage to St Claude, confessor, written out in a 15th-century French Secretary script.
ff. 2r-11v: Calendar, in French.
ff. 12r-14v: Gospels pericopes (John 1:1-14; Luke 1:26-28; Matthew 2:1-12; Mark 16:14-20).
ff. 15r-15v: Prayer to the Virgin, written out in a 15th-century hand.
ff. 16r-53r: Hours of the Virgin, with indications for seasonal variation.
ff. 54r-72v: Hours of the Passion, lacking the office for Compline.
ff. 73r-75v: Prayers to the Virgin.
ff. 73v-79v: Suffrages to various saints.
ff. 79v: List of vices.
ff. 80r-95v: Abbreviated Psalter, giving one line from each Psalm followed by an Ave.
ff. 95v-98v: Litany of the Virgin, with imprecations to the Virgin in 74 forms, followed by a series of prayers.
ff. 98v-99v: Suffrages to saints.
ff. 99v-112v: Penitential psalms, with litany (ff.111r-112r) followed by five collects.
ff. 113r-130r: Office of the Dead, Use of Paris.
ff.130r-131r: Abbreviated Office of the Holy Spirit.
ff. 131r-131v: Prayer to the Virgin, in French, added in a 15th-century Secretary hand.

Decoration: 19 half-page miniatures (ff. 16r, 22r, 28v, 31r, 33r, 35r, 37v, 42r, 54r, 58v, 61v, 63r, 65v, 68r, 71r, 77r, 99r, 113r, 130r) inside square frames, on backgrounds of diaper patterns, solid gold or arabesques; borders springing from coloured initials on gold ground, in early French ivy-leaf style with some birds and dragons; small initials in gold or red on blue cusped panels.

Binding: 18th century, France. Pasteboards covered in dark brown calf, sewn on five cords with gold tooled pointillé ornament on panels of spine.

Place of Origin

France (made)
Paris (made)


ca. 1380-1400 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pigments and gold on parchment. Leather binding.


Height: 140 mm, Width: 100 mm, Height: 95 mm calendar - text block, Width: 40 calendar - text block, Height: 90 mm text block, Width: 70 mm text block

Object history note

(1) Inscriptions in a 16th-century hand mention a 'Louise chatelz (...)'.
(2) Bequeathed by George Reid to the V&A in 1902.

Descriptive line

Manuscript, Book of Hours, use of Rome, France (Paris), ca. 1380-1400.

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

p. 378
Ker, N.R. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries I. Oxford: 1967.
vol. 1, pp. 160-163, cat. 25
Watson, R. Western Illuminated Manuscripts.Victoria and Albert Museum. A catalogue of works in the National Art Library from the eleventh to the early twentieth century, with a complete account of the George Reid Collection. London, 2011.


Parchment; Ink; Pigments; Gold; Leather




National Art Library; Manuscripts; Medieval and renaissance; Books; Books of Hours

Production Type



National Art Library

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