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Castle hours #3, use uncertain, 1450 - 1475

Identifier: MS 21


This manuscript is a French book of hours from the third quarter of the fifteenth century. The use is uncertain, but the calendar suggests the Diocese of Tournai. The seventeen large miniatures comprise the Evangelists, a full Infancy cycle for the Hours of the Virgin, Kind David for the penitential psalms, the Virgin on a Crescent Moon holding the infant Christ, four images of saints, a Crucifixion, and the Raising of Lazarus. Depicted in smaller miniatures are a funeral service, an Imago Pietatis, and the infant Christ seated on a cushion. An inscription suggests that the first owner was also the scribe.

Contents: Calendar of Bruges; Gospel Pericopes; Office of the Virgin, use uncertain; Penitential Psalms and Litany followed by prayers; Prayers to the Virgin and Suffrages; Suffrages to saints; Short Office of the Cross; Office of the Dead, use uncertain; Six Prayers; Prayer added in a later hand.


  • Creation: 1450 - 1475


1 volumes

Language of Materials


French, Middle (ca.1400-1600)

Custodial History

Written and illustrated in Northern France in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Colophon at end of the Office of the Dead on fol. 85r, in the same hand as the text: "Pertinet Guilberto Broulin qui les a faictes" suggests that the owner and the scribe were the same person. On fol.18r a note written in English in a much later (and badly faded) hand: "This forgoing report of/ Duke of Lennox--Lord/ Chancellor [ ]/ is what was shewed to/ me as part of the/ of the [ ] of J. Borthwick/ of Crookston for the/ [ ] of one old/[ ] [ ] in/ England and after an/ inspection of it by the/ Guard officers no objection/ was moved agt the/ authenticity of it." Bookplate of John Borthwick of Crookston (1824-1907) inside front cover; written on bookplate in ink: "Number in Catalogue XXVIII". On fol. ir in ink: "Ex Libris/ Jo. Borthwick de Crookstown". The name Berthelemy Du Montyer on the cover suggests ownership. Owned by Ethelinda Schaefer Castle.

Other related names

  1. Broulin, Guilberto, scribe and former owner
  2. Du Montyer, Berthelemy , former owner
  3. Borthwick, John, former owner
  4. Castle, Ethelinda Schaefer, former owner

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by bequest by Ethelinda Schaefer Castle to Bryn Mawr College in 1971

Related Materials

A digitized version of this manuscript can be found online at:

Physical Description

Parchment support

Eighteenth-century leather, gold-tooled with a frame of flowers around a scattering of fleur de lys, in the center a garland of vines the name BERTHELEMY appears in gold on the upper front cover and DU MONTYER on the back.The binding was conserved by CCAHA in 2004 through the kind gift of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation.

f. i+90+ii; 140 x 104 mm bound to 147 x 113 mm

Single column, twenty-one lines, ruled in red ink, single vertical and double horizontal bounding lines full across; written area: 80 x 60 mm. Calendar, three columns, ruled for four columns with the first initial of each saint placed in the fourth column, with single horizontal and vertical bounding lines, except for a double vertical bounding line between the second and third column.

Written by a single scribe in lettre b√Ętarde

Seventeen full-page miniatures each set inside a double frame, gold outside and red, white and black within, surrounded by a border of fruit, flowers and acanthus leaves in bright blue, red, green and a lighter pink connected by a few penwork vine stems in black and brown; the border background is filled with a thick scattering of small gold dots. These minatures face pages with opening of texts, six-line initials and are placed inside a matching border and a 3/4 gold frame, open at the top.

Three smaller miniatures are found at the end of the book accompanied by prayers. The illustrations are noted for their limited palette of browns, greys, blacks, gold, red, blue and green, little shading, flat, stylized landscapes, or equally flat and stylized interiors.These illustrations are in the same frame and border, but they share the space inside the border with text.

Other pages have narrow outside border matching text block in height, two-line section initials in gold with alternating red and blue backgrounds, one-line sentence initial alternating gold and blue, calendar with two-line KL and narrow outside border.

Rubrication throughout in pink.

Modern foliation in pencil, upper right recto.

Find It at the Library

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