Book of Hours (Use of Bayeux)

French (Rouen)
Medieval (Gothic)
about 1450–75

Place of Manufacture: Rouen, France


Overall (page dimensions): 16.4 x 11.7 cm (6 7/16 x 4 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink, pencil (modern), and gold on parchment; bindings of calfskin over pasteboard with gilding

Not On View





A Book of Hours with 123 folios:

ff.1-12v: Calendar
f.13: [blank] (tipped-in singleton)
ff.14-19v: Gospel readings
ff.19v-23: Obsecro te (masculine use)
ff.23-24v: Saluto te piisima virgo
ff.24v-27: Suffrages to St. James, Archangel Michael, St. Nicholas, St. Katharine, St. Barbara
f.27v: [blank]
ff.28-46v: Hours of the Virgin (use of Bayeux)
(ff.28-37v: Matins)
(ff.37v-46v: Lauds)
ff.46v-47v: Hours of the Cross (intercalated and abbreviated)
ff.48-48v: Hours of the Holy Spirit (intercalated and abbreviated)
ff.49-71v: Hours of the Virgin, continued
(ff.49-53: Prime)
(ff.54-57: Terce)
(ff.57v-60v: Sext)
(ff.61-64: None)
(ff.64v-67v: Vespers)
(ff.68-71v: Compline)
ff.71v-74v: Hours “de la conception” (with rubrics in French)
ff.75-86: Penitential Psalms
ff.87-90: Litany and prayers
ff.91: [blank] (a tipped-in singleton)
ff.92-123v: Office of the Dead (Use of Bayeux)

Latin text (with some French in calendar). Each text page contains 1 column of 14 lines of text. Bounding lines light red plummet, full-length to all margins, writing lines light red plummet, prickings preserved in outer margin for writing lines, in lower margins for bounding lines.

Vertical catchwords are in lower right corner of final verso of each quire, some in Gothic bookhand, others in bâtarde. Modern pencil arabic foliation in upper right corner of each recto.

Written in a Gothic bookhand, with smaller module used for responsories, versicles and other prayers, in brown ink with red rubrics. One- to two-line initials throughout in gold on colors with white filigree highlights, line fillers salmon and blue with white filigree highlights. On folios 19v, 37v, and 71v, a ¾ border of scrolling foliage in gold and colors on white and gold geometric or banded background.

Eleven ¾-page miniatures in an arched gold frame with jagged top edge and full border of scrolling foliage and flowers in gold and colors on white and gold geometric or banded background. (See Notes for descriptions of illuminations).

Produced in Rouen for the use of Bayeux in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. The format of the miniature on folio 14, with all four evangelists in one image, is localizable to Rouen. The Hours of the Virgin and the Office of the Dead are use of Bayeux, and the calendar includes several Saints of especial import there: St. Ragnobertus, Bishop of Bayeux (16 May), St. Manueus, Bishop of Bayeux (5 June, should be 6 May), Feast of the Relics of Bayeux (in red, 1 July), Translation of St. Exuperius, Bishop of Bayeux (14 July), Translation of St. Vigoris, Bishop of Bayeux (14 July), Sts. Ravennus and Rasiphus (23 July), Translation of St. Ragnobertus (3 Sept.), St. Lupus, Bishop of Bayeux (25 Oct.), and St. Gereboldus, Bishop of Bayeux (3 Dec.). Sts. Ravennus and Rasiphus are also included in the litany, between Confessors St. Vincent and St. Fabian.


By 1904, Mrs. Thomas A. Gaffield; 1904, given to the MFA by Mrs. Thomas A. Gaffield. (Accession date: January 12, 1904)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Thomas A. Gaffield