Home > Digitized Walters Manuscripts

This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.

Walters Ms. W.429, Book of Hours

Browse images (Browse images in a new window) | TEI in XML format

Shelf mark



Book of Hours

Text title
Book of Hours


This pocket-size Book of Hours, ca. 1500, was completed in the style of the Master of the Prayerbooks and his associates. This manuscript was likely completed in Bruges, where these artists seem to have been centered. The style of illumination, which can be seen in the twelve extant miniatures, borders, historiated initials, and even drolleries, exhibits a skilled precision required of painters who were tasked with completing the illumination of books this size.


Ca. 1500 CE




Supplied name: Circle of the Master of the Prayerbooks






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Parchment of light weight, heavier for illuminated leaves; well selected and prepared


Foliation: i+198

Modern pencil foliation upper right corners rectos


Formula: Quire 1: 4, first folio is front pastedown, second is front flyleaf (pastedown, front flyleaf, fols. 1-2); Quire 2: 2, hooked under front pastedown? (fols. 3-4); Quire 3: 8 (fols. 5-12); Quire 4: 8, with third folio added (fols. 13-21); Quire 5: 10, with first and seventh folios added (fols. 22-31); Quire 6: 8 (fols. 32-39); Quire 7: 8, with second folio added (fols. 40-48); Quire 8: 8 (fols. 49-56); Quire 9: 8, with fifth folio added (fols. 57-65); Quire 10: 8 (fols. 66-73); Quire 11: 8 (fols. 74-81); Quire 12: 8, with first and sixth folios added (fols. 82-91); Quire 13: 8, with first folio added (fols. 92-100); Quire 14: 8, with first and sixth folio added (fols. 101-110); Quire 15: 8, with eighth cancelled? (fols. 111-117); Quire 16: 8, with first folio added (fols. 118-126); Quire 17: 8, (fols. 127-134); Quire 18: 8, with fifth folio added (fols. 135-143); Quires 9-24: 8 (fols. 144-191); Quire 25: 8, last folio is back pastedown (fols. 192-198)

Comments: It is likely that there were inserted images now missing before fols. 13, 74, 78


7.5 cm wide by 10.9 cm high

Written surface

3.8 cm wide by 5.8 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 17
  3. Layout does not apply to calendar: written surface 5.8 x 3.8cm, 3 columns, 17 lines

fols. 1r - 198v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Hand note: Written in Italianate gotica rotunda; change of hand on fol. 184r
  3. Decoration note: Twelve extant inserted full-page miniatures (18 lines), by the Circle of Master of the Prayerbooks ca. 1500, Bruges(?); two historiated initials (7 lines); drolleries found in select borders either opposite full-page miniature or in borders of full-page miniature; decorated illuminated initials of liquid gold at text openings opposite full-page miniatures and at secondary text divisions; borders of liquid gold around full-page miniatures, on text pages opposite full-page miniatures, and at text openings marked by historiated initials; rubrics in pale rose, text in dark brown ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies .xxxi. Luna vero xxx.
  3. Contents: One-third filled; heading format typically 1-2 lines; graded in pale mauve and dark brown ink; two-color scheme; in light mauve: names of months, number of days per month/moon, golden numbers, dominical letter "a"; in dark brown with capitals stroked in a pale buff: dominical letters "b"-"g" and regular feasts; names often followed by abbreviated designations (martyr, abbot, etc.), some unabbreviated; contents indicate association with west Flanders; feasts of note include: Chair of St. Peter (Jan. 1, "Cathedra petri," regularly Feb. 22, scribal error for conversion of Paul on this date?), Amandus and Vedast (Feb. 6), Magus (Feb. 21, rare), Julianus (Mar. 4), Eulalia (Mar. 30), Valeric (Apr. 1), Waldetrudis (Apr. 9), Leo I (Apr. 12), Timothy (May 15 + octave), Albinus (Jun. 22), Theoderic (Jul. 1), Vineonis (Jul. 27, martyr), Stephen (Aug. 2, Translation), Lambert (Sept. 18, regularly Sept. 17), Firminus (Sept. 25), Remigius and Bavo (Oct. 1), Leodegar (Oct. 3), Adrian and Marcellus (Oct. 13, rare), Donatian (Oct. 14), Winnoc (Nov. 6), Brictius (Nov. 13), Thecla (Nov. 16, regularly Sept. 23), Eusebia (Nov. 19, rare), Ignatius (Dec. 16), Julius (Dec. 20, "Juliani martiris")
fols. 13r - 14r:
  1. Title: Suffrage to the Holy Face
  2. Rubric: Oracio ad sancta Veronica
  3. Incipit: Salve sancta facies
  4. Text note: Opening text rhyming, partly crossed out by later owner; fol. 14r: blank, ruled
fols. 15r - 21v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Incipit officium sancte crucis
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea aperies
  4. Decoration note: Fol. 15r: full-page miniature
fols. 22r - 27v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore sancti spiritus
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea aperies
  4. Decoration note: Fol. 22r: full-page miniature
fols. 28r - 34v:
  1. Title: Mass of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipit missa beate maria
  3. Incipit: Et introibo ad altare dei
  4. Decoration note: Fol. 28r: full-page miniature
fols. 35r - 40v:
  1. Title: Gospel Sequences
  2. Rubric: Initium sancti evangelii secundum iohannem gloria tibi domine
  3. Incipit: In principio erat verbum
  4. Contents: Fols. 35r-36r: John 1:1-14; fols. 36r-37v: Luke 1:26-38; fols. 37v-39r: Matthew 2:1-12; fols. 39r-40r: Mark 16:14-20
  5. Text note: Fol. 40v: blank, ruled
fols. 41r - 107v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipit officium beate marie virginis secundum consuetudinem romane curie. Ad matutinas.
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea aperies
  4. Contents: Fol. 62v: headings for canonical hours termed "Ad . . . ." beginning at Lauds; fols. 106v-107r: Hymn to the Virgin, termed prayer in heading altered in the seventeenth century to "Antiphona B. M. Virginis": Oratio ad beatam mariam. Salve regina misericordie vita. Dulcedo es spes nostra salve. . . ."; fol. 107v: Prayer to God concerning Virgin, headed: Oratio. O. s. d. qui gloriose virginis et matris marie corpus et animam . . . ."
  5. Text note: Fols. 60v, 73v, 100v: blank, ruled verso at end of Matins, Lauds, Vespers; fol. 107v: blank, ruled
  6. Decoration note: Six full-page miniatures on fols. 41v, 61v, 82v, 87v, 92v, 101v
fols. 108r - 117v:
  1. Title: Advent Office of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Incipit officium beate marie virginis quod dicitur per totum adventum. Ad vesperas. Vs.
  3. Incipit: Deus in adiutorium meum intende
  4. Decoration note: Fol. 108r: full-page miniature
fols. 118r - 130v:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi. Ps.
  3. Incipit: Domine ne in furore
  4. Decoration note: Fol. 118r: full-page miniature
fols. 130v - 138v:
  1. Title: Litany, petitions, invocations, and collects
  2. Rubric: Letania
  3. Incipit: Kyrie elyson
  4. Contents: Fols. 130v-133r: litany, destination unclear from selection of saints; sixteen apostles/evangelists: Peter to Mark; twelve martyrs, last six are paired, namely John/Paul, Cosmas/Damian, Gervasius/Protasius; nine pontiffs/confessors/doctors, ending Nicholas, Ludovicus, Julianus; four monks/hermits/priests/leuites: Benedict, Francis, Anthony, Dominic; eight virgins/widows, including Mary Magdalene, Clare, Elizabeth; fols. 133r-136r: petitions, cues to invocations, Psalm 69; fols. 136r-137r: imprecations; fols. 137r-138v: six collects, headed "Oratio" in full or abbreviated
fols. 139r - 183v:
  1. Title: Office of the Dead
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt vigile mortuorum. antiphona.
  3. Incipit: Dilexi quoniam exaudiet
  4. Text note: Fol. 183v: blank, ruled
  5. Decoration note: Fol. 139r: full-page miniature
fols. 184r - 196v:
  1. Title: Two Prayers to the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Oratio devotissima ad beatam virginem mariam
  3. Incipit: Obsecro te Domina sancta maria
  4. Contents: Fols. 184r-191r: two prayers to the Virgin; fols. 191r-196v: Athanasian Creed
  5. Text note: Fols. 197r-198v: blank, ruled
  6. Decoration note: Two full-page miniatures on fols. 184r and 191r


fol. 15v:

  1. W.429, fol. 15v
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross

fol. 22v:

  1. W.429, fol. 22v
  2. Title: Pentecost
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Holy Spirit

fol. 28v:

  1. W.429, fol. 28v
  2. Title: Virgin and Child in enclosed garden, offered fruit by angel
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Mass of the Virgin

fol. 41v:

  1. W.429, fol. 41v
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Matins

fol. 61v:

  1. W.429, fol. 61v
  2. Title: Visitation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Lauds

fol. 82v:

  1. W.429, fol. 82v
  2. Title: Adoration of Magi
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Sext

fol. 87v:

  1. W.429, fol. 87v
  2. Title: Presentation in Temple
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: None

fol. 92v:

  1. W.429, fol. 92v
  2. Title: Massacre of the Innocents
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Vespers

fol. 101v:

  1. W.429, fol. 101v
  2. Title: Flight into Egypt
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Compline

fol. 108v:

  1. W.429, fol. 108v
  2. Title: Coronation of the Virgin by members of the Trinity
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Advent Office of the Virgin

fol. 118v:

  1. W.429, fol. 118v
  2. Title: King David penitent
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Seven Penitential Psalms

fol. 139v:

  1. W.429, fol. 139v
  2. Title: Raising of Lazarus
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Office of the Dead

fol. 184r:

  1. W.429, fol. 184r
  2. Title: Pietà
  3. Form: Historiated initial, 7 lines
  4. Text: Two prayers to the Virgin: Obsecro te

fol. 191r:

  1. W.429, fol. 191r
  2. Title: St. Athanasius
  3. Form: Historiated initial, 7 lines
  4. Text: Two prayers to the Virgin: Athanasian Creed


The binding is not original.

Italy, ca. seventeenth century; crimson morocco over pasteboard, butt corners; original sewing on four tawed bands, silver initials on each side: "D V" at top, "M M" at base; lower cover: "D M" at top, "R M" at base; spine rebacked, possibly repaired, endbands in blue and pink silk, gilt edges, indentations attest to former presence of two fore-edge fastenings


Bruges(?), ca. 1500; completed for use of Rome, illuminations reflect the influence of the circle of the Master of the Prayerbooks, ca. 1500

Italy, seventeenth century, deluxe binding applied

Leo. S. Olschki, Florence, Italy; obtained by 1910-1911, his inventory number "32198" centered on front pastedown, "69" penciled at top left, "17" in pencil on back pastedown at top right (another hand?)

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased in 1911-1912, shipping list ca. 1912: WAG archives


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


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. 470-474 (ref. under cat. no. 288, W. 429).

Olschki, L. S. "Quelques manuscrits fort précieux," La Bibliofilia 13 (1911-12): p. 17, illus. (fols. 41v, 118v)

Olschki, L. S. Manuscrits sur vélin avec miniatures, Cat. 74; Sale Catalogues, (Florence, 1910): no. 21, Pl. VIII (fols. 41v, 118v).

Bowles, E. A. "A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth-Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery," Quarterly Journal of the Musical Library Association; 32/4 (1976): pp. 719-796.

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. 813, cat. no. 347.

Owens, M. B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders," Ph.D dissertations, University of Chicago: 1987, p. 472.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbold, Rebekah

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; 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.