BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM.
[Northern Italy, probably Milan or Cremona, 1423]
152 x 106mm. Collation: 114 2-1410 158. 152 leaves, 13 lines, justification: 74 x 54mm, written in brown ink in two sizes of a gothic liturgical hand, rubrics in red, versal initials in red and blue alternately, 2-line initials in red and blue with penwork decoration, ca. fifty 3 to 5-line initials in gold and colours with tracery and floral infill and marginal extensions, often elaborate, fifteen 6 to 10-line initials similar, ff. 14v and 15r with frames and borders illuminated in gold and colours (occasional minor rubbing, some leaves with hair-marks or thumbing, final leaf cut below end of Gospel). Modern morocco, gilt, in case (18th-century boards, endpapers and bookplate loose, inserted).
Sir Robert Smyth, Bart., of Trinity College, Cambridge (name written, with flourishes, on f.14r, and inscribed over erased original arms on f.15r, dated 1727; armorial bookplate, loose); Beaupré Bell (1704-45), Norfolk antiquary, also of Trinity (name inscribed over erased original arms on f.14v, dated 1728); Dr. John Ferriar (1761-1815), Manchester physician and author of many works including the poem 'The Bibliomania, an Epistle to Richard Heber, Esq.' (inscription on Smyth's bookplate, and auction notice); William Challinor (presentation inscription from Jane Catherine Ferriar, 1855); sold by Alan Thomas, mid-1960s.
(ff.1v-13) Calendar; (ff.13v and 14 blank); (f.14v) Pater Noster; (f.15) Hours of the Virgin, Matins (1st Nocturn, Lessons); (f.29) Lauds; (f.45) 2nd Nocturn of Matins; (f.51) 3rd Nocturn; (f.56v) Prime; (f.62v) Terce; (f.68) Sext; (f.74) None; (f.79v) Vespers; (f.90) Compline; (f.95) Salve Regina; (f.96) Advent Hours and other seasonal variations; (f.111) Seven Penitential Psalms; (f.127) Litany; (f.140) Hours of the Cross ('offitium crucifixi', with attribution to Pope John XXII; attached indulgence partially erased); (f.147 blank); (ff.147v-149) John 1-14.
The manuscript is dated on f.110v, at the end of the Hours of the Virgin. The prominence of SS. Gervase and Protase in the Litany makes it most likely that the book was made for Milan, but the inclusion of S. Homobonus in both Calendar and Litany could indicate Cremona. An interesting feature of the Calendar is that the date of the feast of S. Margaret has been altered from the Western date (July 20) to the Eastern (July 13). NB variant text of Prime hymn: 'Hora prima Ihesus est praesidi oblatus'.