Book of Hours (variant of Use of Paris, and Use of Rome)

French (Paris?); Italian (Bologna?) additions
Medieval (Gothic)
probably 1275–1300 (France), with additions in 1350–1400 (Italy)

Place of Manufacture: possibly Paris, France; Place of Manufacture: possibly Bologna, Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 13.5 x 9.6 cm (5 5/16 x 3 3/4 in.) Other (Italian section; page dimensions): 7.5 x 5.5 cm (2 15/16 x 2 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink, pencil (modern), and gold on parchment; bindings of pigskin over boards, with gold

Not On View





A Book of Hours with 203 folios and 8 leaves:

ff. 1 - 12v: Calendar (added in Bologna, 2nd half 14th century)
ff. 13 - 18: Calendar
ff. 19 - 203v: Book of Hours
(ff. 19 - 124v: Hours of the Virgin (variant of Use of Paris))
(ff. 19 - 26v: Matins)
(ff. 27 - 28: Matins, cont. (Use of Rome)) (added in Bologna, 2nd half 14th century)
(ff. 46v - 58v: Lauds)
(ff. 65 - 69: Terce)
(ff. 69v - 73: Sext)
(ff. 73v - 84: Verspers)
(ff. 84 - 88v: Compline)
(ff. 89 - 98v: Verspers, ant. “Dum esset” and following) (added in Bologna, 2nd half 14th century)
(ff. 98v - 104v: Compline) (added in Bologna, 2nd half 14th century)
(ff. 105 - 124v: Seasonal instructions) (added in Bologna, 2nd half 14th century)
(ff. 125 - 139: Penitential Psalms)
(ff. 139 - 144: Litany and prayers)
(ff. 144 - 156: Fifteen Gradual Psalms)
(ff. 156v - 203: Office of the Dead (Use of Paris))
(f. 203v: [blank])

Latin text (some French in calendar). 1 column of 13 lines of text. Bounding lines in blind or light plummet, full length to upper and lower edges, writing lines in blind or light plummet.

Two cancels before f. 19, Italian bifolium inserted between ff. 26 and 29, quires 11-14 are Italian inserts. Several quires signed in first half with one to four or five symbols or slashes. Catchwords trimmed in French section, extant in lower center of last verso of each Italian quire. Italian calendar foliated by 16th- or 17th-century arabic hand on upper right rectoes as 3 - 14. Entire manuscript foliated in modern pencil with arabic numerals.

French sections written in Gothic bookhand (calendar and text in different hands); Italian sections written in rotunda gothic by a single scribe, in black ink with red rubrics.

Illumination in French sections as follows: One-line in-text initials alternate blue with red or gold with black/dark green filigree. Geometric line fillers in red and blue or gold and blue. Two-line initials throughout (also KLs in calendar, though slightly later) in blue and salmon with white filigree highlights on gold-leaf infill and foliate background in colors, half-length bar border in outer and lower margins with leafy finials in gold and colors, with dragons, grotesques, crowned heads, and chase-au-coin. Hours of the Virgin illustrated with combination of Infancy and Passion cycles, as follows (all are 7-line historiated initials unless otherwise indicated): f. 19 (half-page, Matins); the Annunciation: f. 46 (Lauds): The Betrayal; f. 59 (Prime): Christ before Pilate; f. 65 (Terce): Flagellation; 69v (Sext): Road to Calvary; f. 73v: (Nones): Crucifixion; f. 77v (Vespers): Deposition; f. 84 (Compline): Entombment. Folio 125 (half-page miniature, Penitential Psalms): John’s Second Vision (see Apocalypse 1:16), Christ enthroned, a double-edged sword in his mouth, with a candelabra on either side. F. 144 (5-line historiated initial, Gradual Psalms): female patron kneeling before altar. F. 156v (half-page miniature, Office of the Dead): funeral, in a church.

Illumination in Italian sections as follows: one-line initials in-text alternate blue with red or gold with purple filigree; two-line initials throughout in light salmon with leafy extensions and infill in colors, on gold background, with a few acanthus leaves into margin in colors (light salmon predominates) with detached gold balls; F. 105v (8-line historiated initial with ¾-border of scolling acanthus, seasonal instructions): Annunciation.

Binding: 2nd half 19th-century Italian white pigskin over boards blind-stamped with floral center- and corner-pieces. Spine in compartments, gold-stamped “M. S.” Black and white endbands at head and tail. Edges trimmed and speckled red. Paper pastedowns and endleaves, plus four vellum flyleaves in front and two in back.

Produced in Northern France (Paris?) in the third quarter of the thirteenth century. The miniatures and historiated initials, in particular the bar-shaped marginal extensions, are typical of this period and region. Iconographically, however, the manuscript is unusual in several respects. The Passion cycle is often used in this period to illustrate the Hours of the Virgin, but the combination of the Infancy and Passion cycles in the present manuscript is uncommon. Even more unusual, possibly unique, is the illustration of the Penitential Psalms with the John’s Second Vision from Apocalypse 1:16, Christ enthroned with a double-edged sword in his mouth. This scene is rarely found outside of an Apocalyptic context, and its use here is noteworthy.

The French calendar is slightly later than the manuscript (it includes St. Louis, can. 1297), and may have been added by the Italian binder. It is also Northern French, perhaps Parisian, almost entirely filled and including many saints of note (several of these dates are off by one day): in brown, or dark red, are several Saints of Parisian import: Maurus (15 Jan.), Genevieve (3 Jan.), Augustine of Canterbury (26 May), Gervasius (19 June), Leotfredus abb. Evreux (21 June), Fiacre (30 August), Leodegarus of Autun (2 Oct.)and Clement b. Metz (23 Nov.). Also in the calendar are notable Saints Sabinus b. Troyes (29 Jan.), Lucinius b. Angers (13 Feb.), Honorina (27 Feb.), Blanchart (11 March), Regulus b. Senlis (30 March), Walericus of Amiens (“Walerus,”12 Dec. and translation 1 April), Profert (18 April), Wandregisilus (“Wandrille,” 20 May), Arsenne (6 June), Cloust (7 September), Firminus of Amiens (25 Sept.), Quirinus (“Curien,” 13 Oct.), Lion (12 Nov.), Aignien (17 Nov.), among others. The St. Orace (presumably a St. Horatius) on 8 August has not been identified. In the litany are several Northern French saints of note, including: among the Martyrs: Mauricius and Eustachius (it is of course unclear which Eustachius is intended); among the Confessors: Robert, Maur, Philibert, and Amande: and among the Virgins: Radegundis.

The Italian calendar and additions, 2nd half 14th century, were presumably added by the later binder, in part to bring the manuscript into Roman use. The calendar is North Italian (Bolognese?) and monastic, and includes Anthony (17 January, in red), Aquinas (6 March, can. 1323), Proculus b. Bologna (1 June), Anthony of Padua (13 June), Anacletus (13 July), Dominicus (5 August, in red), Ludovicus b. Toulouse (19 August, of Franciscan import, in red), Augustine (28 August, in red), Cerbonius (10 Oct.), Hilarion (21 Oct.), and Francis (4 Oct., in red).


By 1895, Frances Davenport Bruen (Mrs. Charles C. Perkins; b. 1825 - d. 1909), Boston [see note 1]; 1909, to her son, Charles Bruen Perkins (b. 1860 - d. 1929) and his wife, Elizabeth Ward Perkins (b. 1873 - d. 1954), Boston; 1922, sold by Elizabeth W. Perkins to the MFA for $1500 [see note 2]. (Accession Date: March 2, 1922)

[1] From 1895 until 1909, this manuscript was on loan to the MFA from Mrs. Charles C. Perkins. Following her death, ownership was transferred to her son and heir Charles B. Perkins. [2] MFA accession numbers 22.375-22.379 were purchased together for $1500.

Credit Line

Frank S. Adams Fund