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Book of Hours: MS 244

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i contemporary parchment flyleaf + 185 fols., 200 x 138 (115 – 121 x 77) mm, 17 long lines, ruled in pink ink, quire and leaf signatures, catchwords, leaves lost after fols. 49, 60, 71, 80, 89, 98, 105, 110, 136, 184.

BINDING: Mid-fifteenth century, brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on five double supports, blind-stamped central panel with stamp of double-headed eagle, orange and green endbands carried over head and tail of spine, traces of two fastening devices, edges gilt and gauffered, pastedowns from 13th and 14th century manuscripts

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fols. 13r – 16v Hours of the Cross (begins imperfectly with Nones); fols. 17r – 110v Hours of the Virgin (imperfect); fols. 111r – 123r Penitential Psalms; fols. 123r – 136v Litany with collects; fols. 137r – 184v Office of the Dead (begins imperfectly).

DECORATION: 20 medallions within full acanthus and spraywork borders at major text divisions showing Old Testament prefigurations of the New Testament subjects which were originally in the full-page miniatures (all cut out) on the facing versos: fol. 13r Hours of the Cross, None, 2 medallions: Eleazar Maccabaeus killing elephant with two men in tower on its back, King of Moab sacrificing first-born son; fol. 14r Vespers, 2 medallions: Naomi lamenting, David lamenting at Abner’s funeral procession; fol. 15r Compline, 2 medallions: Adam and Eve mourning the dead Abel, Jonah cast into the sea; fol. 17r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, 2 medallions: Ezekiel asleep before the porta clausa, Gideon praying to God above with the golden fleece beside him; fol. 36r Lauds, 2 medallions: Abraham and the three angels with Sarah in doorway, Visitation or Mercy and Truth as type of the Visitation; fol. 50r Prime, 2 medallions: Sealed fountain in enclosed garden, destruction of Sodom; fol. 61r Terce, 2 medallions: shepherdess and two shepherds (one playing pipe, the other on stilts), three shepherds feasting; fol. 90r Vespers, 2 medallions: Fifth seal with souls of martyrs and Holy Lamb on book, man killing boy and woman killing girl; fol. 106r Compline, 2 medallions: Fall of idols, Jacob protected by Rebecca flees from Esau; fol. 111r Penitential Psalms, 2 medallions: David defeating bear and lion, David slaying enemies.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue or pink initials [4 – 6 ll.] with graded foliate motifs, filled with fleur-des-lys or hybrids on gold grounds, with three-sided bar borders and acanthus, floral and spraywork borders including the medallion scenes described above; gold initials [1 – 3 ll.] on blue and dark pink white-patterned grounds; gold and pink line fillers with geometric gold and white designs.


History note: Benedictine monastery of St Adrian at Grammont (Calendar and Litany); erased seventeenth-century inscription beginning Deus a qua santa and erased signature illegible under UV light (fol. 184v); Claude Robert Jardel at Braine, near Soissons (ownership inscription, fol. 1r); his sale, Paris, 15 Dec. 1799, probably no. 586 (number written in ink on lozenge-shaped label on spine); purchased in Brussels by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792 – 1872), his MS 4083 (number inside upper cover and on recto of flyleaf, and on printed label at tail of spine); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 10 – 17 June 1896, lot 681; purchased for the Museum, 1896.

Place(s) associated

  • Tournai ⪼ Flanders

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1896) by Phillipps, Thomas, Sir


Mid 15th century
Production date: circa AD 1450

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 115-121 mm Width 77 mm
Page Height 200 mm Width 138 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Deus in adiutorium
  • Location: Fol. 14r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 244
Primary reference Number: 169755
Project ID: 101
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-07 23:47:41

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of Hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-07 23:47:41|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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