Ref NoDM832
TitleCobden Book of Hours
DescriptionAn early 15th-century Book of Hours according to the use of Troyes very regularly and neatly written by (until the last three pages) a single scribe on good quality vellum, and very lavishly ornamented, each page having a double outer border, one of gold-leaf with ovals of gem-like colour, the other containing flowers, trees, and beasts exhibiting an amazing virtuosity of design, no form being exactly repeated. Other decorations include line-fillers and capitals throughout and a series of miniatures. This series starts with the four Evangelists complete with their traditional beasts. There follow the Crucifixion, Pentecost, a pieta, and the Virgin and Child. Then, in order come the Annunciation (with the spirit entering Mary by the right ear as she kneels in prayer, wearing unusually, a dress of mauve cloth of gold), the Visitation (showing an elderly-looking Elizabeth with her head done up in a scarf kneeling before Mary), the Nativity (with a surprised Mary and Joseph, and the angel announcing the good news to some excessively rustic shepherds), the Magi, the presentation in the temple and the flight into Egypt, ending with a very accomplished Coronation of the Virgin (showing Mary kneeling before the God of the Apocalypse with an angel holding a crown above her head).

A further series is inaugurated by a lively archangel Michael wearing gilt scalloped armour in the latest fashion attacking a ferocious devil with boar's snout and tusks all covered in green hair. The saints who follow are easily identifiable by their conventional emblems: saint Barbara with her tower, saint Margaret with her dragon and so on, but are none the less vigorously painted.

Red morocco binding of s. xviii/xix, lettered on the spine 'MANUSCRIT'.

Language: Latin, French


1. ff.1-12v Full calendar in French, in gold, blue, and red, the two colours alternating for effect.

2. ff.13-20r Sequentiae of the Gospels. f.20v blank.

3. ff.21-23v Hours of the Cross

4. ff.24-27r Hours of the Holy Spirit

5. f.27rv Three prayers in French. f.28rv blank.

6. ff.29-32r Obsecro te...

7.ff.32r-34r Oracio deuotissima. O intemerata...f.34v blank.

8. ff.35-72v Hours of the Virgin.

9. ff.74-86 Penitential Psalms and Litany. Begins imperfectly, one leaf missing (f.73)

10. ff.88-116 Office of the Dead. Begins imperfectly, one leaf missing (f.87).

11. ff. 117-121v Memoriae of St Michael, St John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, St Sebastian, and Sts. Nicholas, Barbara, Katherine, and Margaret.

12. ff.121v-122 (added) In diebus illis Audiui vocem de celo

ff. iii +120 + iii. 183 x 132 mm. Written space 115 x 75mm. 17 long lines.

Catalogued by Nicholas Lee.

Digital images sponsored by the University of Bristol Alumni Fund.

The page numbering has been revised. The original catalogue (1978) was as follows:

ff.35-74v Hours of the Virgin.
ff. 76-88 Penitential Psalms and Litany. Begins imperfectly (f.75 missing)
ff. 90-109 Office of the Dead. Begins imperfectly (f.89 missing)
ff. 110-123v Memorials.

Housed with the Cobden Book of Hours, DM832:
Newsletter Article by Nicholas Lee entitled 'Book of Hours', 26 Jan 1979
Five black and white photographs of the minature illuminations and pages from the book of hours, 1979.
14 coloured slides of the minature illuminations from the book of hours, 1979.
Dateearly fifteenth century
Related MaterialSee DM1978/6/2 for colour photographs of some pages of the Cobden Book of Hours.
Extent1 volume






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