Manuscript missel on vellum of the XV century [Book of hours]


Manuscript missel on vellum of the XV century [Book of hours]

Alternative Title

Manuscript missel on vellum of the XV century [Book of hours] : presented by James Fraser Gluck to the Buffalo Library A.D. 1886



Cover title.
Obsecro te prayer, with masculine forms: . . . [f. 20:] . . . in quibus ego sum facturus, locuturus aut cogitaturus . . . et michi famulo tuo impetres . . . -- 4. ff. 22-38v (in vol. 1) and ff. 39-72 (in vol. 2); f. 72v blank, Hours of the Virgin, use of Rome.
Contains 9 illuminations within decorative borders, and 4 illuminated initials.
Parchment; ff. 72, bound in two volumes with the break between the two between f. 38v and f. 39, which opens lauds with a miniature of the Visitation; 155 x 105 (90 x 63) mm; after the 12 leaves of the calendar, the quires are regularly of 8 leaves, with the catchwords written vertically along the text's inner bounding line; the final gathering retains only 4 leaves. 16 long lines ruled in ink for the text; the calendar in 17 ruled lines. Written in a spikey gothic book hand.
Nine major miniatures, above 3 lines of text, and with slightly rounded tops; full border of acanthus and colored leaves and flowers: f. 13 (gospel of John), John the Evangelist seated on the island of Patmos, inscribing his gospel onto a roll which reads "[I]n Pri[ncipio]," while his eagle looks on; f. 22 (matins of the Hours of the Virgin), Annunciation to the Virgin, in an elaborate Renaissance room with column and sculpted balustrade and a gold-embroidered red bedcurtain, as the Virgin turns towards the kneeling angel, and the Holy Spirit descends to her; f. 39 (lauds), Visitation showing Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth; f. 50 (prime), Nativity with the baby Jesus lying on the extended hem of the Virgin's dress, as Joseph, holding a candle (?), enters the foreground; f. 54 (terce), Annunciation to the shepherds; f. 58 (sext), Adoration of the Three Kings, one of them old, one middle-aged and one young; f. 61 (none), Presentation in the temple, as Simeon, his hands covered with a cloth, reaches out to hold the baby Jesus, with Mary holding him and Joseph waiting; f. 64 (vespers), Flight into Egypt; with Joseph leading the donkey that carries the Virgin and the baby Jesus f. 69 (compline), Coronation of the Virgin as she kneels before Jesus, enthroned, who crowns her as blue angels hover behind.
Four large miniatures, 6 lines in height. When the miniature is on a recto: narrow gold bar along the left border of the text, holding in place sprays of acanthus leaves and colored flowers in the upper and lower margins; when the miniature is on a verso: a wide bar border the length of the text of acanthus leaves and colored flowers or strawberries: f. 14v (gospel pericope of Luke), Luke, seat on a wooden chest, inscribing his gospel on a roll, as his ox reclines quietly beside him; f. 15v (gospel pericope of Matthew), Matthew holding up his pen and looking upwards to God, and his angel kneels behind him; f. 17 (gospel pericope of Mark), Mark, seated on a stool, inscribing his gospel on a roll, as his lion reclines quietly beside him; f. 18 (Obsecro te), the enthroned Virgin holding the baby Jesus.
Major initials to open each of the hours of the Virgin, 3-line height, in blue against deep red grounds, decorated in liquid gold; 2-line and 1-line initials in painted gold against deep red or blue grounds, decorated in gold; line fillers in gold-decorated bands of deep red or dark blue. Rubrics in red. Bound in two volumes, the first of 38 leaves, the second of 34 leaves (foliated as ff. 39-72); binding is modern red morocco; each volume with the same statement of provenance lettered on the front cover: at the top: "Manuscript Missel [sic] on Vellum of the XV Century" and at the bottom: "Presented by James Fraser Gluck to the Buffalo Library A.D. 1886."
Written in France during the second half of the 15th century; the calendar includes the feast of the Dominican, Vincent Ferrer who was canonized in 1455. In addition, the dark colors in the backgrounds of the painted initials is typical of work done at the end of the century. A slip from an auction catalogue is glued to the front pastedown of the first volume: it presumably was retained here because it represents this present manuscript, although the book of hours described on the slip is said to have 164 leaves (as opposed to the present ff. 72), with "14 beautifully painted miniatures" (there are 9 in the book as it now stands); in addition, this slip labels the manuscript it describes as n. 959 in its catalogue, suggesting a very large sale; the slip is assumed to come from an auction catalogue (rather than a sales catalogue) because there is no price associated with it (and the very top of the following entry is just barely visible at the bottom of the slip). The manuscript as it now stands, of 72 leaves, belonged to James Fraser Gluck (1852-1897); he had the book bound in its present red morocco, had the inscriptions placed on the front covers, and donated the now-two volumes (along with a large collection of materials relating to British and American authors) to the Buffalo Public Library in 1886, which is a very early date for interest in medieval manuscripts in the United States.
Calendar in red and black--V. 1, leaves [1-12].
Identified in De Ricci as Horae, Roman use, written in France.
References: De Ricci. Census, p. [1210]


[15th century]

Date Created



Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)


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2 volumes ; 17 cm





RBR MSS. C33M55 1400z

Spatial Coverage


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