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Book of Hours: MS 142

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Artists: Masters of the Beady Eyes




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i modern paper flyleaf + ii parchment flyleaves + 146 fols. + i parchment flyleaf + i modern paper flyleaf, 144 x 106 (99 x 68) mm, 19 long lines, ruled in black ink.

BINDING: 17th century, gold-tooled brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on 4 supports, metal clasp on lower cover, catchplate on upper cover, edges gilt and gauffered; re-sewn and repaired by Robert Proctor, Fitzwilliam Museum.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 6v Calendar; fols. 7v – 77r Prayers in Dutch (fols. 73v – 77r addition); fols. 79r – 83v Hours of the Cross, with prayer in Dutch on fol. 83v (addition); fols. 85r – 87v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 89r – 117v Hours of the Virgin; fols. 119r – 125v Penitential Psalms; fols. 125v – 129v Litany with collects; fols. 131r – 139r Office of the Dead (fragmentary), with prayer in Dutch on fol. 139r – v (addition); fols. 140r – 143r family register.

DECORATION: Five full-page framed miniatures with full floral, acanthus and spraywork borders on plain parchment grounds at major text divisions:
fol. 78v Hours of the Cross, Crucifixion; fol. 84v Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost; fol. 88v Hours of the Virgin, Annunciation; fol. 118v Penitential Psalms, Last Judgement with Virgin and St John interceding; fol. 130v Office of the Dead, Raising of Lazarus.

ORNAMENTATION: fols. 7v – 77r: Gold and black or blue and gold initials [4 – 7 ll.] with red pen-flourished floral infill on grounds of green wash and extensions including gold ornament, flowers and fruit (IHS monogram on fol. 44r); red or blue penwork initials [2 – 3 ll.] with reserved ornament and violet and red pen-flourished infill and extensions, often on grounds of green wash; alternate blue and red initials [1 – 2 ll.]; capitals highlighted in red.
fols. 1r – 6v, 79r – 139r: Blue or mauve white-patterned initials [8 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds and full floral, acanthus and spraywork borders facing and identical with those for the miniatures at major text divisions; gold initials [2 – 4 ll.] on pink and blue white-patterned grounds; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with black and red pen-flourishing; blue penwork line fillers with gold balls; capitals highlighted in red.


History note: Register of the Flemish Absoloens family for the period 1557 – 1650 (fols. 140r – 143r); Johanna Care, 1611 (added entry in Calendar, 6 Sept., fol. 5r); Joseph Smith, English Consul to Venice (1682 – 1770), bookplate on verso of first parchment flyleaf at front; Richard, seventh viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816), acquired in 1810; his bequest, 1816.

Place(s) associated

  • Ghent ⪼ Flanders
  • Utrecht ⪼ Northern Netherlands ⪼ Netherlands

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


Third quarter of 15th Century
Production date: circa AD 1460

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Page Height 144 mm Width 106 mm
Text Height 99 mm Width 68 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: ende enen ave
  • Location: Fol. 8r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 142
Primary reference Number: 169680
Project ID: 78
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020 Last processed: Monday 15 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-03-21 03:57:40

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of Hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-21 03:57:40|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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