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Manuscript - Book of Hours for the Use of Bayeux

Book of Hours for the Use of Bayeux

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)
    Normandy (made)

  • Date:

    1440-1450 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, pigments and gold on parchment. Leather binding over wooden boards.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Reid in 1902.

  • Museum number:

    MSL/1902/1650 (Reid 8)

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

Physical description

Foliation: parchment. i (19th-century parchment) + 131 (foliated 2-132) + ii (19th-century parchment) ff.

Number of lines: 15 lines.

Language: Latin and French.

Script: Gothic bookhand.

Textual content:
ff. 2r-13v: Calendar, quarter full, in French. Major feasts in red.
ff. 14-54v. Hours of the Virgin, Use of Bayeux.
ff. 54v-59v: Prayers to the Virgin.
ff. 59v-61v: Gospel extract, followed by a prayer.
ff. 62r-63v: Hours of the Cross.
ff. 64r-68r: Hours of the Holy Spirit.
ff. 69r-76v: Prayer to the Virgin, followed by suffrages to saints.
ff. 77r-93v: Penitential Psalms, followed by the litany and three collects.
ff. 94r-125r: Office of the Dead, Use of Bayeux.
ff. 125r-131r: Suffrages.
ff. 131r-132v: Seven Joys of the Virgin.

Decoration: 13 half-page miniatures (ff. 14r, 23v, 33r, 37v, 41r, 44r, 47r, 50r, 64r, 69r, 77r, 94r, 98v). Some with historiated initials. All have rounded tops reaching nearly to the top edge, with full borders of spiral stems with burnished gold leaves, buds and berries, acanthus sprays, and flowers. The miniatures have U-bars of foliate and flowers patterns on a ground of burnished gold with punched decoration and 3- to 4-line decorated initials. All text pages with band of tendril ornament, down the left-hand edge of the text, with small leaves and berries in burnished gold and painted.

(1) late 19th century, England. Resewn, end-bands of blue and white thread. Parchment end-papers added.
(2) c. 1550- France. Calf on thin wooden boards tooled with arabesque and strapwork ornament in gold within a frame of 3 fillets. Central cartouche also filled with arabesque ornament. On spine 5 raised bands, arabesque ornament tooled in gold in each of the 6 compartments. Text-block with gilt edges, gauffered with floral pattern.

Place of Origin

France (made)
Normandy (made)


1440-1450 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, pigments and gold on parchment. Leather binding over wooden boards.


Height: 185 mm, Width: 135 mm, Height: 105 mm Text block - Calendar, Width: 70 mm Text block - Calendar, Height: 95 mm Text block, Width: 65 mm Text block

Object history note

Collection of George Reid, bought from Bernard Quaritch. Given to the V&A in 1902.

Descriptive line

Manuscript, Book of Hours, Use of Bayeux, France (Normandy?), 1440-1450.

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

p. 379
Ker, N.R. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries I. Oxford: 1967.
Townsend, E. Death and art, Europe 1200-1500. London, 2009, pp. 47, 60.
vol. 1, pp. 252-255, cat. 42.
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; Calf leather; Wood




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

Production Type



National Art Library

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