Book of Hours (Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rome)

Medieval (Gothic)
about 1400–50

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 13.5 x 9.4 cm (5 5/16 x 3 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink, and gold on parchment; bindings of orange silk brocade over wooden boards, with leather bands and metal clasps

Not On View





Book of Hours with 105 folios (ff.), containing the Hours of the Virgin. (The manuscript is misbound, lacking several folios, and is not foliated. The list of contents below is by quire, with the original order of the contents following.)

The current contents comprise the following:
Quire 1, ff. 1-10: Hours of the Virgin: Matins, Inv. Psalm (94)
Quire 2, ff. 11-20: Hours of the Virgin: Laudes, and Canticle: Trium puerorum
Quire 3, f. 21 (singleton): Part of Penitential Psalm #4 (Miserere mei deus)
Quire 4, ff. 22-31: Hours of the Virgin (cont.): Laudes
Quire 5, ff. 32-41: Penitential Psalms #5 (Domine exaudi orationem) - #7 Litany
Quire 6, ff. 42-51: Litany, Anima Christi
Quire 7, ff. 52-57: Penitential Psalms #2 - #4 (lacking first and second bifolia; final leaf is f. 21, or current quire 3)
Quire 8, ff. 58-65: Hours of the Virgin: Nones and Vespers (lacking fourth bifolium)
Quire 9, ff. 66-75: Hours of the Virgin: Prime, Terce, Sext (lacking outermost bifolium)
Quire 10, ff. 76-79: Hours of the Virgin: Vespers and Compline (lacking three innermost bifolia)
Quire 11, ff. 80-83: Hours of the Virgin: Seasonal instructions, for the little hours
Quires 12-14, ff. 84-105: Hours of the Virgin: Seasonal instructions for matins

The original contents of this manuscript comprised the following:
Original ff. 1 - 54 (current ff. 1-20, 22-31, 66-75, 58-65, 76-79, 84-105, 80-83)
Hours of the Virgin (lacking at least one quire before f. 1)
Original ff. 1-10: Matins
Original ff. 11-30: Lauds
Original ff. 31-41: Little Hours (lacking one folio before ff. 31, 39, and 42)
Original ff. 42-48: Vespers (lacking one folio before f. 44)
Original ff. 49-50: Compline (lacking six folios before f. 49)
Original ff. 51-54: Seasonal instructions for Little Hours (lacking six folios before origin. f. 53 and 2 ff. before f. 55)
Original ff. 55- 81 (current ff. 52-57, 21, 32-51): Penitential Psalms, Litany, additional prayers (lacking one before f. 61)
Original ff. 82-105: Seasonal instructions, Matins, Hours of the Virgin (possibly lacking at least one quire before f. 82)

1 column of 12 text lines per page. Text is in Latin. Bounding lines as single plummet, full-length to top and bottom edges. Catchwords in center lower margin, minimally decorated. No pagination or foliation.

Written in an Italian Gothic script in black ink with red rubrics. Psalms, lections, and prayers with 2-line initials alternating gold with blue and blue with red filigree extending throughout left margin and into upper and lower margins. Single-line intials throughout alternating gold with blue and blue with red. This manuscript is apparently lacking all miniatures. Miniatures, if any, were removed early and manuscript was rebound out of order.

Binding: Original orange silk brocade over wooden boards, with 3 split tawed-leather bands in shallow channels. Endbands lacking. Spine lost, bands broken, quires detached. Lacking upper clasp, lower clasp partically intact.


By 1895, Denman W. Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, MA; 1895, gift of Denman W. Ross. (Accession date: June 28, 1895)

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection