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Walters Ms. W.423, Book of Hours (for use of Rome)

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Shelf mark



Book of Hours (for use of Rome)

Text title
Book of Hours


This Book of Hours was created by an associate of the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook in either Ghent or Bruges ca. 1500-1510. There is an allusion to a possible patron through reference to a deceased female named "N" in Office of the Dead. Due to the fragile state of the illuminations, it was only possible to digitize the exterior of this manuscript.


1500-1510 CE


Ghent or Bruges






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Very thin parchment, highly prepared; flyleaves thicker than textblock


Foliation: ii+213+ii


Formula: Quire 1: 2, with first folio added, which appears to have remains of possibly removed flyleaves, stubs extant (fols. 1-3); Quire 2: 8, with first folio tipped to the second folio (fols. 4-12); Quire 3: 8, with first and seventh folios added (fols. 13-22); Quire 4: 10, with third folio missing (fols. 23-30); Quire 5: 8, with third folio added (fols. 31-40); Quires 6-7: 8 (fols. 40-55); Quire 8: 8, with fourth folio added (fols. 56-64); Quire 9: 8 (fols. 65-72); Quire 10: 10, with third folio missing (fols. 73-80); Quire 11: 10, with first folio added and eighth folio missing (fols. 81-89); Quire 12: 10, with fourth folio missing and ninth folio added (fols. 90-98); Quire 13: 8 (fols. 99-106); Quire 14: 10, with second folio missing (fols. 107-114); Quire 15: 8, with first folio added (fols. 115-123); Quire 16: 8, with fifth folio added (fols. 124-132); Quires 17-18: 8 (fols. 133-148); Quire 19: 10, with fifth folio missing (fols. 149-156); Quires 20-24: 8 (fols. 157-196); Quire 25: 8, with fifth folio added (fols. 197-205); Quire 26: 8 (fols. 206-213)



4.6 cm wide by 7.0 cm high

Written surface

2.6 cm wide by 3.8 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 14
  3. Ruled in light brown ink (fols. 14r-47v, 73r-80v and 133r-140v); green ink (fols. 48r-65v, 82r-114v, 140r-213v); pale greenish-brown ink (fols. 115r-132v)

fols. 1r - 213v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Hand note: Text including calendar written in gotica rotunda in brown ink; final pauses in punctus
  3. Decoration note: Nine extant full-page miniatures: fol. 13v: Crucifixion in Hours of the Cross; fol. 19v: Pentecost in Hours of the Holy Spirit; fol. 33v: Annunciation in Hours of the Virgin: Matins; fol. 59v: Visitation in Hours of the Virgin, Lauds; fol. 81v: Annunciation to Shepherds in Hours of the Virgin, Terce; fol. 98v: Massacre of the Innocents in Hours of the Virgin, Vespers; fol. 115v: Members of the Trinity blessing Virgin in Advent Office of the Virgin; fol. 128v: King David penitent in Seven Penitential Psalms; fol. 201v: St. Jerome in penance in Psalter of St. Jerome; decorated illuminated initials at text openings opposite full-page miniatures (5 lines), at secondary text divisions (2 lines); in Versals and in Litany (1 line); at "K L" in calendar (2 lines); illusionistic borders surrounding full-page miniatures, on pages opposite miniatures and at secondary text divisions; line fillers in litany; rubrics in rose; text in brown ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies xxxi
  3. Contents: Calendar less than half full; contents particular to Bruges and contain Franciscan saints; feasts and saints of note include: Annunciation (Mar. 25), Valerius (Apr. 17), Bernardinus (May 20, of Siena, Franciscan), John I (May 27, pope 523-526 CE), Anthony of Padua (Jun. 13, Franciscan), Basil (Jun. 14), Mary and Martha (Jul. 30), Rochus (Aug. 16), Assumption of the Virgin (Aug. 15), Bavo and Remigius (Oct. 1), Donatian (Oct. 14)
  4. Text note: Scribal error in Annunciation (Mar. 25): misidentified "Assumptio bea/te marie virginis"
fols. 13r - 18v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore sancte crucis. Ad matutinas.
  3. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 13r
fols. 19r - 24v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore sancte crucis. Ad matutinas.
  3. Text note: Same heading as Hours of the Cross due to scribal error
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 19r
fols. 25r - 32v:
  1. Title: Mass of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipit missa beate marie virginis. Introitus.
  3. Incipit: Salve sancta parens puerpera regem
fols. 33r - 114v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore beate Marie virginis secundum usum Romanum. Ad matutinas.
  3. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 33r
fols. 115r - 127r:
  1. Title: Advent Office of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipit officium beate marie virginis quod dicitur per totum adventum. Ad vesperas.
  3. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 115r
fols. 128r - 144r:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi penitentiales. Antiphona.
  3. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 128r
fols. 144r - 152v:
  1. Title: Litany, petitions and collects
  2. Rubric: Letania sanctorum
  3. Contents: Fols. 144r-147r: Litany, including few regional saints; sixteen apostles and evangelists from Peter to Mark; eleven martyrs, including Cosmas, Damian, Gervasius, Prothasius and Christopher; ten confessors, monks and hermits, including Leonard, Bernard, Francis, Dominic, and Bernardinus; twelve virgins and widows, including Mary Magdalene, Mary Egyptian, Ursula and Martha; fols. 147r-150r: petitions, invocations and psalm 69; fols. 150r-151v: "'Preces'. Salvos fac seruos tuos et ancillas tuas deus meus sperantes in te"; fols. 151v-152v: four collects, headed "oratio"
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature on fol. 128r
fols. 153r - 194v:
  1. Title: Office of the Dead
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt vigilie mortuorum. Antiphona.
  3. Contents: Fols. 157v-158v: Three collects at the end of Vespers, headed "Oratio", cites "N." for name of deceased female: "Deus qui nos patrem et matrem honorare precepisti ... Quesumus domine pro tua pietate miserere anime famule te .N. et a contagiis ... Fidelium deus omnium conditor ..."
fols. 194v - 200v:
  1. Title: Prayer to the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Devota oratio ad mariam virginem. oratio.
  3. Incipit: Obsecro te domina sancta maria
fols. 201r - 213v:
  1. Title: Psalter of St. Jerome
  2. Rubric: Incipit psalterium sanc...
  3. Incipit: Beatifica domine peccatricem animam meam et concede michi
  4. Text note: Line 2 of rubric illegible


Upper board outside:

  1. W.423, Upper board outside
  2. Title: Eloquence triumphing over Force
  3. Form: Upper board outside

Lower board outside:

  1. W.423, Lower board outside
  2. Title: Contentment of Love
  3. Form: Lower board outside


The binding is not original.

Bound in Germany (?) in seventeenth century; silver alloy (.25 mm thick) on top of wooden boards; allegorical theme of Eloquence triumphing over Force on upper board, Contentment of Love on lower board


Created by an associate of the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook in either Ghent or Bruges ca. 1500-1510 CE

Rebound possibly in Germany, seventeenth century, by early owner

Leo S. Olschki, Florentine bookseller, before 1912, inscription "Horae/32961/not. Cf." in pencil on front pastedown

Henry Walters, Baltimore, November 12 1912, purchased from Leo S. Olschki and unpacked by gallery superintendent James C. Anderson


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. 806, cat. no. 308.

Bowles, E. A., "A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth-Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery," Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, 1976, p. 722, 726.

Owens, M.B., "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders", Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1987, p. 469.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3. Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 501-504, cat. no. 293

Brinkmann, Bodo. Die Flamische Buchmalerei Am Ende Des Burgunderreichs. Turnhout; Brepols, 1997; p. 42, Amm. 22.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Ransom, Allison

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Herbold, Rebekah; Noel, William; 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.