151K JPEG file,
full scale

100K JPEG file,
detail

Book of Hours

Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
England (?); Middle 14th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
17.5 by 12.5 cm

This particular Book of Hours, a devotional prayer book for the layman, was made for the use of Sarum, the early name for Salisbury, England. This text was accepted throughout the province of Canterbury. The manuscript was written about the time Chaucer completed his Canterbury Tales, but evidently by a French monk, who might have been attached, as was often the case, to an English monastery. Again, the book could have been specially ordered and imported from abroad. The initial letter and the coloring and the treatment of the ivy are unmistakably French.

The lettering is an excellent example of the then current book hand. There are seven lines of writing to an inch. The words written in red, a heavy color made from mercury and sulphur, show almost the same degree of delicacy as those written with the more fluid ink.
Keywords: 1300s, Book of Hours, decoration, England, formal, gothic, initials, script

Manuscripts | Cary Collection