1650MBS The smallest Book of Hours of the British Library
- Jun 16, 2012MS 58280.
BOOK OF HOURS, of Sarum use; England, 1474 (colophon f. 373v). Imperfect. Latin. See F. Procter and C. Wordsworth, Breviarum ad usum insignis ecclesiae Sarum (1879-1886). Written and signed in the colophon by Roger Pynchebeck: 'Nunc fine(m) feci. Da m(ihi) q(uo)d merui. Ad Rog(er)o Pynchebek (th)e writ(er) of (th)is boke. In (th)e yere of o(ur) lorde M0 CCCC.lxx iiii0', see A. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts (1979), no. 428, pl. 778. Possibly related to Winchester as Sts Swithin and Birinus occur in the litany (f. 176). English 17th-cent. note referring to a John Watson at the bottom of f. 373. Presented by Miss Marjorie Ball of Radlett, co. Hertf., 8 Oct. 1974.
Vellum; ii+373. Sec. fol.: 'dei genitrix'. 54 x 40mm. Original gatherings (over 50) of 8 leaves, partially disrupted during the present modern binding, following the loss of many leaves (over 20). Ruled (single bounding lines) in red for single columns of 10 lines. Written space 29 x 23mm. Script is a textualis semi-quadrata formata. Horizontal catchwords in cartouches, occasionally decorated with grotesques.
1. ff. 1-125v. Hours of the Virgin: imperfect, lacks the incipit, text begins with the Responsorium to the First Lection: 'Quia quem celi capere non poterant'.
2. ff. 126-132v. Seven Joys of the Virgin.
3. ff. 133-171v. Penitential Psalms.
4. ff. 172-194v. Litany of the Saints and Prayers.
5. ff. 195-276v. Office of the Dead, imperfect, lacks the incipit, text begins 'advenas pupillum et viduam suscipet' in the middle of the Psalm 'Lauda anima mea dominum'.
6. ff. 277-320v. Commendation of Souls, imperfect: lacks the incipit, text begins '-lescentiorum viam suam' at the beginning of the Psalm 'In quo corrigit adolescentiorum'.
7. ff. 321-323. Prayers for Indulgence.
8. ff. 324-373. Fifteen Prayers.
Decoration consists of 5-line decorated red and blue major initials set on a gold ground with floral infills and full borders with fleshy acanthus-like decoration in blue, purple and green (ff. 11, 84, 92, 133, 324; wanting the one opposite f. 105v). 2/3-line gold minor initials on cusped grounds (either pink grounds with blue infills, or vice versa, with white highlighting) with foliate partial borders in penwork with gilded leaves. 1-line flourished gold and blue litterae notabiliores (blue and red or gold and black). Full-page miniatures set in arched frames for the major openings of text (ff. 10v, 82v, 91v, 105v, 323v). Further decorated openings have been excised between ff. 98-99 (None), 105-106 (Vespers), 113-114 (Compline), 132-133 (Penitential Psalms). The figure style is somewhat provincial and characterised by large clumsy hands. For a parallel to the Man of Sorrows iconography (without the landscape accompanying the present example) see Harley 1887, f. 59. See also K. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490 (1997), no. 109, pl. 400.
Subjects of the miniatures are as follows:Û
1. f. 10v. The Betrayal of Judas (Lauds).
2. f. 82v. The Scourging (Tierce).
3. f. 91v. The Crucifixion (Sext).
4. f. 105v. The Deposition (Vespers).
5. f. 323v. The Man of Sorrows (Fifteen Prayers).