The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark B.11.31
Manuscript Title

Book of Hours, vol 1

Alternative Title

Horae Vol. I.

James Number 269
Century 15th
Physical Description

17 lines to a page, bound in 2 volumes. Well written, with magnificent ornament. Of French execution.


Given by A. A. Vansittart, M.A., Fellow, in 1861. On the fly-leaves in the two volumes is T. B. 846 and 847 (xviiith cent.).

Donor VanSittart, Augustus A. (1824-1882), Fellow Of Trinity (1848)
Size (cm) 23 x 18.5
Folio 129 ff.
Binding White vellum semée with gold fleur de lys and bearing the arms of Anne of Austria in gold
Material Parchment
Language Latin

I. 16 26 38-58 612 (11, 12 canc.) 78 88 92 108 114 128-148 152 168 (7 canc.) 178 188 194.


The first of two volumes; volume II is B.11.32. The foliation runs continuously between the two volumes.

Manuscript Summary This is the first of a two volume, 15th-century book of hours. It is bound in white vellum stamped with the arms of Anne of Austria (1601-1666), Queen consort of France. It contains much fine illumination, of French execution, including many miniatures. Volume 2 is B.11.32.
IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 12/07/2018


First of two volumes; volume II is B.11.32.

f.1 Kalendar in red, blue and gold, in French
f.13 Hours of the Virgin, 9 lessons at matins
Use of Paris.
f.65 Hours of the Cross
f.76 blank.
f.77 Hours of the Holy Ghost
ff.82-84 blank.
f.85 Seven Psalms
f.94 Letania maior
f.102 blank.
f.103 Vigilie deffunctorum

Every page is bordered with line and leaf work: the painting of the miniatures is exceedingly fine.

In the Kalendar I note:
Jan. S. geneuieue in gold.
May. S. yues in gold.
June. S. Eloy in gold.
Aug. 3. S. Estienne in gold.
Aug. 25. S. Loys, Roy in gold.
Sept. 1. S. Leu, S. Gille in gold.
Oct. S. Denis in gold.
Dec. 1. S. Eloy in gold.

In the Litany:

Apostle. S. Marcialis.
Martyrs. SS. Alexander.
George twice.
Crispin Crispinian.
Confessors. Johannes.
Virgins. (b)rigida.

The pictures are as follows:
Kalendar. Borders of line and leaf work: each month occupies a leaf and is illustrated with two square pictures in the border.
1. Aquarius. Clothed in hood, tunic, etc., pours from jar held up in both hands.
2. Jan. Feasting near a fireplace.
3. Pisces. On decorated ground.
4. Feb. Digging: another puts in seeds or plants with his hands.
5. Aries. On chequered ground.
6. Mar. Pruning vinestocks.
7. Taurus. On chequered ground.
8. Ap. A youth bareheaded walks to L. with branch over shoulder.
9. Gemini. Two nude girls hold a gold shield before them in a landscape.
10. May. A man bareheaded in a long coat rides to R. on white horse; hawk on wrist.
11. Cancer. A crayfish on chequered ground.
12. June. Mowing with scythe: in large black hat, white smock and black hose.
13. Leo. Decorative ground.
14. July. Reaping: clothed as no.12.
15. Virgo. In scarlet dress with long sleeves faces R. She has frizzed hair, a palm in her L. hand.
16. Aug. Threshing: chequered ground.
17. Libra. A maid in red dress, face L., holding gold scales. Chequer.
18. Sept. Kneels gathering grapes into a hand-basket.
19. Scorpius. Dark coloured on chequer.
20. Oct. In red hood, white smock, grey-hose, black shoes: sowing from his hand.
21. Sagittarius. Centaur. The human part of him is clad in a pink tunic ending in gold fringe. The horse part is white. He gallops to L. and shoots backward. Chequer.
22. Nov. Beats huge acorns off oak tree for two pigs on R.
23. Capricorn. Half serpentine. Scrolled ground.
24. Dec. Knocks a pig on the back of the head with the back of an axe. Scrolled ground.
25. Matins of the Virgin. Annunciation. The Virgin kneels on R. under a canopy, of which two small angels in air pull back the curtains. The accessories of book, desk etc. are good. Gabriel kneels with scroll (aue -dominus), he has diadem, and scarlet and gold dalmatic over alb.
In the upper L. corner is the Father sending the Dove.
26. f.30b. Lauds. Visitation: the two figures in landscape with windmill on hill and towered city.
27. f.39. Prime. Nativity. The Child nude on the ground. The ox and ass. A rayed cloud over the roof of the stable. Joseph, old, on R. Chequered ground.
28. f.43b. Tierce. Three demi-angels on rayed cloud: scroll anocio uobis g. Two shepherds, bagpipe on ground.
29. f.47. Sext. Arched top. Adoration of the Magi. The Father above, half-length, in tiara, blessing. None of the kings is black. Ox and ass at manger. Joseph is present. Landscape with hills. The colouring, red and yellow robes, is fine.
30. f.50b. None. Arched top. Presentation. Simeon in white mitre, black cope, with gold collar over white robe, receives Christ on a cloth: altar veiled in red. The Temple is only a stone chapel over the altar. Joseph, nimbed, the Virgin, and a maid with candle and basket of doves. Chequered ground.
31. f.54. Vespers. Flight into Egypt. Arched top. Chequer. Joseph has nimbus. Above is the Father blessing.
32. f.59b. Compline. Coronation of the Virgin. Arched top. Above, the Father in tiara, fiery cherubs below Him. Below, the Dove over the Virgin's head: she kneels in centre facing R. where the Son throned on R. blesses her. Behind her is a vacant throne, and an angel putting a cushion in it.
33. f.65. Hours of the Cross. Lauds. The Betrayal. Malchus healed. Two Apostles are present besides Peter.
34. f.66b. Prime. Christ before Pilate, red canopy. Messenger (?) behind.
35. f.68. Tierce. Before Pilate or Herod: in blue robe: red canopy. Outside in a landscape is the crown of thorns pressed down on His head with two sticks.
36. f.69b. Sext. Nailing to the cross: the arms of Christ are stretched with a rope. The other two crosses are T-shaped, already erected but vacant.
37. f.71. None. The side pierced and the sponge offered. Longinus is blind. The Virgin swoons. The thieves are bound, not nailed, to their crosses. The bad one has his back to Christ.
On R. are a number of figures seated on the ground or standing. Sun and moon above.
38. f.72b. Vespers. Deposition. The Father above. Sun and moon. The women on L., men R. Two ladders, and two men with the body.
39. f.74. Compline. Entombment. Chequer. Four women and two men with the body.
40. f.77. Lauds of the Holy Ghost. In a polygonal building with cupola, the Virgin throned, the Apostles seated round, the Dove descends.
41. f.85. The Seven Psalms. Arched top. In centre Christ with cusped nimbus on altar-like throne, with orb. Six angels above. At the corners the four Evangelists seated writing. In centre on L. altar with chalice and paten. Opposite on R. the Tables of the Law.
42. f.103. Vigil of the Dead. Funeral in choir. Four priests, three in black copes, one in furred amice on L. Three mourners on R. [The pall seems to show fleur-de-lys - N. R. Ker]


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