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Walters Ms. W.229, Book of Hours

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Shelf mark



Book of Hours

Text title
Book of Hours


This Book of Hours was created ca. 1470 in Bruges by a follower of Willem Vrelant. The manuscript contains eleven extant large miniatures and one small miniature, which are representative of the standard style established by Willem Vrelant. Collects following the Office of the Dead are for a mother, father, deceased male, and a female suppliant, which offers insight into the book's use.


Ca. 1470 CE




Supplied name: Willem Vrelant circle






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Lightweight, fairly well prepared and selected; flyleaves modern woven paper


Foliation: ii+107+ii

Modern pencil foliation, upper right corners rectos


Formula: Quire 1: 6 (fols. 1-6); Quire 2: 8, with eighth folio misbound, moved from quite 13 (fols. 7-15); Quire 3: 8, with first folio removed (fols. 16-22); Quires 4-9: 8 (fols. 23-70); Quire 10: 6 (fols. 71-76); Quire 11: 8 (fols. 77-84); Quire 12: 8, with sixth folio cancelled (fols. 85-91); Quire 13: 8, with fourth folio removed, fifth folio misbound in quire 2 (fols. 92-97); Quire 13: 10 (fols. 98-107)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: In quire 2 the 8th folio is misbound after fol. 13, and would have originally been the 5th folio in quire 13


11.7 cm wide by 17.0 cm high

Written surface

6.0 cm wide by 9.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16
  3. Ruled in light red ink; layout does not apply to calender; written area 6.2 x 11.4 cm; 4 columns of 17 lines

fols. 1r - 107v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Artist: Willem Vrelant circle
  3. Hand note: Textura
  4. Decoration note: Eleven extant large miniatures, one extant small miniature (two missing); foliate borders around miniatures only; large decorated initials at major text openings accompanying miniatures (4 lines); small decorated initials at secondary text divisions and at "K L" in calendar (2 lines); small flourished initials in versals in alternating blue and gold (1 line); foliate line fillers in alternating red and blue; rubrics in red; text in dark brown ink
fols. 1r - 6v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies. xxxi. luna. xxx.
  3. Contents: Calendar less than half full; graded in red and black; contents suggest Bruges; saints of note include Bathildis (Jan. 31), Basil (Jun. 14), Eligius (Jun. 25), Anne (Jul. 24, "matris marie"), Agapitus (Aug. 17, usually Aug. 18), Aegydius (Sept. 1), Remigius and Bavo (Oct. 1), Donatian (Oct. 14), Theodore (Nov. 10)
fols. 7r - 10v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore de sancta cruce
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Decoration note: Large miniature fol. 7r
fols. 11r - 15v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Hore de sancto spiritu ad matutinas
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Contents: Folio from vespers in Office of the Dead included after fol. 13
  5. Decoration note: Large miniature fol. 11r
fols. 16r - 31v:
  1. Title: Mass of the Virgin, Gospel sequences, and prayers
  2. Incipit: ... dei et vos orare pro me peccatore
  3. Contents: Mass of the Virgin begins imperfectly; fols. 16r-20v: Mass of the Virgin; fols. 20v-25v: Gospel Sequence; fols. 25v-31v: Two prayers to the Virgin; fols. 25v-29v: Obsecro te; fols. 29v-31v: O intemerata
  4. Decoration note: Small miniature fol. 25v
fols. 32r - 76r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore beate marie virginis
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Contents: Headings of canonical hours start at fol. 42r
  5. Decoration note: Large miniatures fols. 32r, 42r, 53r, 57r, 60v, 63v, 67r and 72v
fols. 77r - 87v:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi penitenciales
  3. Incipit: Domine ne in furore
  4. Decoration note: Large miniature fol. 77r
fols. 87v - 94v:
  1. Title: Litany, petitions, and collects
  2. Incipit: Kyrieleison
  3. Contents: Composite, incomplete list of confessors and lacking virgins after fol. 89v; fols. 87v-89v: litany, including sixteen apostles from Peter to Mark; nineteen martyrs, including Lupus, Amantius, Donatus and Blasius; nine doctores, including seven popes: Remegius and Vedastus; six remaining confessors, including Leonard, Bernard, Francis, Eligius, Aegydius and Dominic; fols. 90r-92v: petitions; 92v-94v: nine collects
fols. 14r - 14v; 95r - 107r:
  1. Title: Office of the Dead
  2. Incipit: ...reges terre quia audierunt omnia verba oris tue
  3. Contents: Short version; Office of the Dead vespers begins imperfectly; image with opening text missing, and following the folio from Vespers misbound after fol. 13r; fols. 96v-97r: three collects after Vespers, for mother, father and deceased male signified by "N" for the name
  4. Decoration note: Large miniature with rubric and incipit missing after fol. 94


fol. 7r:

  1. W.229, fol. 7r
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross

fol. 11r:

  1. W.229, fol. 11r
  2. Title: Pentecost
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Holy Spirit

fol. 25v:

  1. W.229, fol. 25v
  2. Title: Pietá
  3. Form: Small miniature
  4. Text: Obsecro te

fol. 32r:

  1. W.229, fol. 32r
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Matins

fol. 42r:

  1. W.229, fol. 42r
  2. Title: Visitation
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Lauds

fol. 53r:

  1. W.229, fol. 53r
  2. Title: Nativity/Adoration
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Prime

fol. 57r:

  1. W.229, fol. 57r
  2. Title: Annunciation to the Shepherds
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Terce

fol. 60v:

  1. W.229, fol. 60v
  2. Title: Adoration of the Magi
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Sext

fol. 63v:

  1. W.229, fol. 63v
  2. Title: Presentation in the Temple
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: None

fol. 67r:

  1. W.229, fol. 67r
  2. Title: Massacre of the Innocents
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Vespers

fol. 72v:

  1. W.229, fol. 72v
  2. Title: Flight into Egypt
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Compline

fol. 77r:

  1. W.229, fol. 77r
  2. Title: Last Judgment
  3. Form: Large miniature
  4. Text: Seven Penitential Psalms


The binding is not original.

Red velvet, early twentieth century, Belgium (?); parchment bands resewn, rounded spine; endbands include edge-bead around cord; copper clasp on center of upper board fore-edge; page edges are yellow-tinted


Created c. 1470 in Bruges by follower of Willem Vrelant; prayers suggest both male and female suppliants, fols. 96v-97v

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 796, cat. no. 249.

Owens, M.B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders," Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1987, p. 419, fig. 27 (fol. 77r)

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 1, Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 331-334, cat. no. 266.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Ransom, Allison

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Herbold, Rebekah; Noel, William; Ransom, Allison; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.