Lot 51
  • 51

Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands (probably Bruges), c.1460-70]

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
138 leavesfoliated from 1-137 including original flyleaves, skipping one leaf after fol.133, plus one unfoliated modern vellum leaf after fol.135, 158mm. by 112mm., wanting 6 single leaves including 4 full-page miniatures after fols.11, 28, 64 and 115 and two text leaves probably including small miniatures after fols.24 and 103, collation: i5 (flyleaves), ii6, iii8 (I wanting, single leaf), iv8 (vi wanting, single leaf), v7 (ii wanting), vi-viii8, ix6, x8 (i wanting, single leaf), xi8, xii9 (i is a single leaf), xiii8, xiv7 (vii wanting), xv8, xvi10 (iv wanting, single leaf), xvii2, xviii10, xix5 (including modern vellum leaf), 20 lines in a gothic bookhand, written space 120mm. by 72mm., rubrics in red, one-line initials in blue or gold with red or black penwork, 2-line initials in gold on red and blue grounds, 6-line initials in red and blue on contrasting grounds, enclosing coloured acanthus leaves and flowers on burnished gold grounds, with full borders made of coloured acanthus, flowers and strawberries, eight historiated initials on burnished gold grounds with gold bars and partial borders, eight small miniatures with gold bars and partial borders, one full-page miniature and a full border (fol.81v), volume cropped, affecting edges of illuminated borders, vellum cockled and stained, historiated initial on fol.19v smudged, that on fol.57 with cuts, other historiated initials and small miniatures occasionally with small pigment losses, full-page miniature and borders heavily rubbed, in good to fair condition, prayers in Latin added on flyleaves and in empty space in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English hands, proverbs in Latin on fol.81r, paper label “Church Congress Exhibition 100” pasted inside lower cover, sixteenth- or seventeenth-century brown leather binding, spine and ribbons renewed by the book binder and restorer Anthony Gardner, OBE, in Chiddingfold, 1957, with the binder’s Apologia on verso of modern vellum leaf after fol.135, in fitted green case 



(1) The present Book of Hours was written and illuminated in Bruges in the 1460s but destined for the thriving English export market. It follows the Use of Sarum and the Calendar includes many feasts of English Saints, notably SS. Cedd (2 March), Edward (18 March in red), Cuthbert (20 March in red), Guthlac (11 April) and Dunstan (May 19). The suffrage to Thomas Becket and the feast day for his translation in the Calendar (7 July in red) have survived completely unscathed. A note by the binder inside the lower cover mentions that this Book of Hours was used in the Roman Catholic chapel at Hengrave Hall (built 1538), and the manuscript may well have been in use by Catholic recusants since the Reformation in the sixteenth century.

(2) Thomas Rookwood, 1726: his ex-libris on fol.135v, and name on fol.1v.

(3) Sir Thomas Rokewode-Gage, 8th Baronet (1810-66), of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk: his ex-libris on fol.1v.

Catalogue Note


The text includes: a Calendar (fol.6r); the Fifteen Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden (fol.12r); Suffrages to the Saints (fol.19v); the Hours of the Virgin with Matins (fol.29r), Lauds (fol.35v), Prime (fol.47v), Terce (fol.51r), Sext (fol.53r), None (fol.55r), Vespers (fol.57r) and Compline (fol.59r); the Seven Penitential Psalms (fol.65rv) including a litany starting on fol.74v; the Office of the Dead (fol.82r); the Psalms of the Passion (fol.116r); the Prayer of Bede Domine Iesu Christi qui septem verba, added by a contemporary English scribe (fol.125r)