Home  / MSS/0013

Book of Hours (use of Rouen)

Reference code
Book of Hours (use of Rouen)
Level of description
Extent and format
Vellum; ff. i + 121.
Leather binding, red, gilt-tooled.
Scope and content
Book of Hours (use of Rouen), with calendar.

Written in France. Contents:- Calendar, fols. 4-15v; sequence of gospels, fols. 17v-20; Obsecro te, and other prayers, mostly to the BVM, fols. 21-9; Hours of the BVM (use of Rouen), fols. 30v-73, the Hours of the Cross worked in at fols. 43v-4, and the Hours of the Holy Spirit at fol. 45v; Seven Penitential Psalms, litany, prayers, fols. 74v-84; Office of the Dead, fols. 85v-107; memoria of the Holy Trinity, fols. 108-111; seven prayers of St Gregory, fols. 112-14v; prayer to St Nicholas, in French, beg. 'Ou cest craincte de vice inexcusable', fols. 115v-17v.

Thirty full-page miniatures mostly on double openings. Many of the subjects are found in other Rouen Hours (see R. Watson, The Playfair Hours (1984)) but others are unusual (some of these also in Brompton Oratory MS 12546, see Ker, MMBL, I (1969), 166-9). As follows:- Emperor Domitian and St John the Evangelist, with cup and serpent; four small miniatures of evangelists, Christ child with Cross superimposed (before the gospel sequences), fols. 16v-17;- Pieta (before Obsecro te), fol. 20v;- Adam and Eve; Annunciation (before Matins of the BVM), fols. 29v-30;- Baptism of Christ; Visitation (before Lauds), fols. 35v-6;- Christ carrying the Cross; Crucifixion (before the Hours of the Cross), fols. 42v-3;- sacrifice of Elijah (III Kings, xviii. 38; inf. Janet Backhouse, FSA), with two standing figures and two kneeling male donors, one a Carmelite; Pentecost (before the Hours of the Holy Spirit), fols. 44v-5;- figure with censer (?Korah) before an altar with six candles and a lily, and standing figures (see Watson (1984), pl.xv, upper left, for a similar scene); the reference in MSS/0013 may be to the legend of Joseph's rod and the Immaculate Conception (cf. The Book of James, ix. 1, ed. M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament (1924), 42); Nativity (before Prime), fol. 46r, v;- Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl; Shepherds in the fields (before Terce), fols. 50v-1;- Solomon visited by the Queen of Sheba; Adoration of the Magi (before Sext), fols. 54v-5;- Presentation of the Infant Samuel; Presentation of Christ (before Nones), fols. 58v-9;- King David lowered in a rope chair by Michal from a window; Flight to Egypt (before Vespers), fols. 62v-3;- Bathsheba and Solomon; Coronation of the BVM (before Compline), fols. 67v-8; David beholding Bathsheba; David and Uriah (before the Seven Penitential Psalms), fols. 73v-4; Resurrection of the dead; an unusual last Judgment, showing the beatified in heaven and the damned below (before the Office of the Dead), fols. 84v-5;- an unusual Trinity group (before the memoria of the Holy Trinity), fol. 107v;- Mass of St Gregory (before the seven prayers of St Gregory), fol. 111v;- St Nicholas (before the prayer to St Nicholas), fol. 115.

Full borders throughout of foliage, flowers, birds, delicate gold filigree decoration and formal motifs. Into these are worked, as letters one per page, the names IEHAN DVFOVR and MARGUERITE AVTIN; names in full at the foot of fols. 62v-3. The letters in the borders are apparently painted over other letters. Twenty-four smaller miniatures in the calendar (occupations of the month, similar to those in the Playfair Hours, and unusual signs of the zodiac). Calendar has many feasts in red, including La Chandeleuse, St Nicholas; other days filled up with entries in red and blue, including many lesser saints.
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
Cancelled signature, with date 172(?)3, fol. 2, of Smart Lethieullier, FSA (d. 1760), who owned several Books of Hours (his sale, 23 Feb. 1761, lots 1010-15); see also MSS/0019, 0059. Bookplate of the Rev. Charles Lyttelton, PSA, fol. i.