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Book of Hours

Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
France; Middle 15th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
38.5 by 28 cm

The text of a Book of Hours consists of Gospels of the Nativity, prayers for the Canonical Hours, the Penitential Psalms, the Litany, and other prayers. The beauty of the rich borders found in some of these books frequently claims our attention more than the text. In these borders it is easy to recognize the ivy leaf and the holly, but is usually more difficult to identify the daisy, thistle, cornbottle, and wild stock. The monks had no hesitancy in letting these flowers grow from a common stem. Because of the translucency of vellum, the flowers, stems, and leaves of the border were carefully superimposed on the reverse side in order to avoid a blurred effect.


Manuscripts | Cary Collection