Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections


Illuminated opening, Compline, Streeter-Piccard Hours
Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts



MS 27 Flanders, c. 1430-1450

Streeter-Piccard hours, use of Sarum

1. ff. 1r-6v Calendar of Bruges including British saints.

Rather sparse, important feasts in red. Saints include: Walburge (23 Feb.), David (1 Mar.), Adriani (4 Mar.), Resurrectio domini (27 Mar.), Walrici (1 April), Johannis (7 May), Willelmi (7 June), Lupi (29 July), Donati (7Aug.). Each month headed by verses: Prima dies mensis Et septima truncat ut ensis... [Walther, Initia 14563].

2. ff. 7r-12v Suffrages.

f. 7r blank, f. 7v illustration. f. 8r Suffrage to Michael, f. 8v two prayers, in French, in two different hands: Quiconques confes et repantans dira a genouls...; Sire dieu ihesu christ mon dieu mon createur mon pere mon signeur...; f. 9r blank, f. 9v illustration; f. 10r Suffrage to Barbara, f. 10v ruled but blank; f. 11r blank, f. 11v illustration; f. 12r-v Suffrage to John the Baptist.

3. ff. 13r-40v Office of the Virgin, use of Sarum.

f. 13r blank; f. 13v illustration. Suffrages at Lauds to the Holy Spirit, Trinity, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Andrew, Laurence, Steven, Thomas, Nicholas, Mary Magdalen, Katherine, Margaret, All saints, and the Holy Cross. Short Office of the Cross interwoven into Hours.

4. ff. 40v-53r Suffrages and prayers.

ff. 40v-43v Suffrage to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Has uideas laudes qui sacra uirgine gaudes... Salue. Salue uirgo uirginum [RH 18318] U. Ora pro nobis. R. Ut digni... O. Deus qui de beate marie uirginis utero; ff. 44r-45v O intemerata [Wilmart, 488-90]; ff. 45r-46v Obsecro te [Leroquais, LH 2. 346-47, masculine forms]; ff. 46v-48v Quicumque hec septem gaudia... [with indulgence of Pope Clement for 100 days], Uirgo templum trinitatis deus lumine bonitatis... RH 21899] [with the prayer:] Deprecor sanctissima maria mater dei...; f. 48v Ad ymaginem christi crucifixi. Omnibus consideratis paradysus uoluptatis es ihesu piissime... [with the prayer:] Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui unigenitum filium tuum dominum nostrum ihesum christum crucem coronam spineam... [Wilmart, 584 and 527, n.]; f. 50r Oratio uenerabilis bede presbyteri... Domine ihesu christe qui septem uerba... [Leroquais, LH 2.342; with the prayer:] Precor te piissime domine ihesu christe propter eximiam caritatem [Leroquais, LH 1.269]; ff. 51v-52r Aue domine ihesu christe uerbum patris filius uirginis agnus dei... [Wilmart 412-13]; Aue uerum corpus natum de maria uirgine. Aue uere passum... [Wilmart 373-76]; f. 52r-v Aue caro christi cara immolata crucis ara... [Wilmart 379, n.]; Anima christi sanctifica me. Corpus christi salua me... [Leroquais, LH 2.340]; Omnibus confessis et contritis hanc orationem dicentibus... [with indulgence of Pope Boniface VI for 2000 years granted at the request of King Phillip of France:] Domine ihesu christe qui hanc sacratissimam... qui uiuis et regnas cum deo patre in unitate spiritus sancti deus. Per omnia secula seculorum. Amen [Wilmart, 378, n. 10].

5. ff. 53v-60r Seven Penitential Psalms and fifteen Gradual Psalms, first twelve by cue only.

6. ff. 60v-64v Litany and prayers.

Saints include: Lyne, Clete, Clemens, Fabiane, Sebastiane, Cosme, Damiane, Geremine, Ysodore, Iuliane, Gyldarde, Medarde, Albine, Eusebii, Swithine, Severine, Prisca, Tecla, Edycha, Affra.

7. ff. 63v-78r Office of the Dead.

Responses to the lessons at Matins: 1. Credo quod, 2. Qui lazarum, 3. Domine quando, 4. Heu michi, 5. Ne recorderis, 6. Domine secundum, 7. Peccantem me, 8. Requiem eternam, 9. Libera me. f. 77r blank; f. 77v illustration.

8. ff. 78r-87r Commendation of souls:

Pss. 118 (divided into sections), 138, and the prayers Tibi domine commendamus... and Misericordiam tuam domine sancte pater... f. 86r blank, f. 86v illustration.

9. ff. 87r-90r Psalms of the Passion

(Pss. 21-25 and 27-30.6, with Pss. 22-24, and 29 by cue only).

10. ff. 90r-97v Psalter of St. Jerome with introduction, followed by collect.

Beatus uero iheronimus in hoc modo disposuit... Oratio. Suscipe digneris domine deus omnipotens istos psalmos conferratos... [masculine forms]. Psalmus psalmiste. Uerba mea auribus pape domine intellige domine... With antiphon and collect: Ne reminiscaris. Omnipotens sempiterne deus clemenciam tuam suppliciter deprecor ut me famulum tuum N. tibi fideliter seruire... proficiat sempiternam. amen.

Parchment. ff. ii (modern paper) + 97 + ii (modern paper), modern foliation, 185 x 138 (121 x 76) mm. Written in 25 lines, ruled in ink with single vertical bounding lines, and double upper horizontal bounding lines full across. Calendar 34 lines, four columns, single bounding lines except for double upper horizontal bounding lines.

I-II6, III8 (+ f. 13), IV-IX 8, X 8 (+ f. 77), XI 8 (+ f. 86), XII 8, XIII2. Catchwords right of center in lower margin of verso.

Written by a single scribe in textualis semi-quadrata.

The fourteen illuminations in this text are painted in the style of the Master(s) of Otto van Moerdrecht (fl. c. 1420-50). The prior identification with Nicolas Brouwer (because of the “b” stamp) has been shown to be incorrect. We are indebted to James D. Farquhar for his helpful comments on this text and its illuminations. The illustrated leaves, with the possible exception of St. Barbara on f. 9v, and the Funeral Mass on f. 63v, include the artist's stamp associated with this Utrecht workshop, a red circle on which a gothic b may be discerned, in the lower right corner directly beneath the frame of the illustration. The illustrations in this manuscript are unusual since, unlike most of the extant examples of stamped illustrations which are separate additions added to a text, many of these images are an integral part of the text.

The first four images are the customary inserts and thus blank on the recto: (1) On f. 7v, the illustration for the Suffrage to Michael depicts the saint weighing two souls in a balance in a landscape setting; (2) on f. 9v, the Suffrage to Barbara is opposite an interior scene of Barbara holding her tower as an angel hovers in the upper right corner carrying a scroll inscribed with Barbara's name; (3) and on f. 11v John the Baptist, holding the Lamb of God, stands in a landscape setting similar to Michael's. (4) The fourth image, on f. 13r, illustrating Lauds in the Office of the Virgin, depicts the Virgin seated with her baby; an angel approaches from the left in a style reminiscent of an Annunciation scene.

Detail, Commendation of Souls, Streeter-Piccard HoursThe final two illuminations in the book are also inserts with blank rectos: (5) f. 77v, opposite the Commendation of Souls an illustration of two angels carrying three nimbed souls up to heaven in a white cloth; in the foreground, the heads of other souls peek up from slits in the ground; (6) on f. 86v, the illustration accompanying the Psalms of the Passion, an angel lifts the bleeding Christ out of his coffin, against a backdrop of the cross and the other symbols of the Passion. These paintings, each in a gold, red, white, and blue- banded frame, are each enclosed in decorative border in which three penwork vinestems extend along the upper, outer and lower margin embellished with green leaves, orange and blue cone-shaped and trefoil flowers, each flower embellished with a gold circle. The inner margin contains four pen-lined gold circles with small penwork s's extending from top, bottom and sides. On ff. 8r, 10r, 12r, the pages facing these illuminations contain the identical floral pattern above and below the text which is set off from the inner and upper margin by a gold, pink, and blue baguette which extends from a 3-line gold initial on a blue and pink with white penwork ground. The borders across from the other inserted illuminations, on ff. 14r, 78r, and 87r, have more elaborate borders, crowded with vine and leaf penwork, with multi-shaped and colored flowers of gold, green, orange, white, pink, and blue in varying combinations. The text on these pages is framed on the bottom and both sides with a baguette which extends from an initial; on f. 14r a 12-line initial completely fills the first twelve lines of the text, blue with white penwork flourishes on a pink with white penwork ground--the ground is outlined and the initial infilled with gold, the infilling made up of elaborate penwork designs with terminal leaves and flowers in green, red, blue and white. On ff. 78r and 87r, the baguette extends from more restrained 10-line pink initials with white penwork on a gold ground, infilled with elaborate vinework with terminal flowers.

Detail, Prime, Streeter-Piccard HoursThe remaining eight illustrations, for the Offices of the Virgin and the Dead, and the Penitential Psalms are integral to the text. (7) On f. 23v the illustration for Prime depicts Christ before a seated Pilate; (8) on f. 29v Terce is accompanied by an illumination of the Flagellation of Christ: three men with whips surround the central figure of the bound and bleeding Christ; (9) Sext is illustrated on f. 31v, by Christ carrying the cross, with the Virgin and Mary Magdalen helping on his right and perhaps Barnabas helping on the other side. (10) None begins on f. 33v with Christ on the cross, the Virgin in blue prays on one side of the cross, Mary Magdalen, in orange and white reads on the other, bones protrude from the ground at the bottom of the cross and the sky is a radiant maroon. (11) Vespers faces an illustration on f. 35v of the Descent from the Cross: three men, one on a ladder, one removing the nails with an instrument, and the third lifting down the body, surround the figure while three haloed women crowd behind the man lifting the body down. (12) Compline ends the Office of the Virgin with an illustration on f. 37v of the two Marys and two other nimbed women watching the Entombment as two men lower the bleeding figure of Christ into his casket. (13) On f. 53v, Jesus as the Judge of the World decorates the Penitential Psalms: Christ sits on the rainbow, the world at his feet, two swords pointed at his head, flanked again by Mary Magdalene and the Virgin; souls rise from the ground. (14) The Office of the Dead has a slightly smaller illumination: room has been left above the illustration for three lines of text, the completion of the final prayer from the preceding Litany. This illustration is of the funeral service; three tonsured monks on the left, and four black-robed mourners on the right surround a white draped casket inside a church, a pink and white altar stands in the background. These illustrations are all framed in the same way as the inserts, but the floral motif which surrounds the three outer margins is like that described for f. 14r; on the inner margin of these paintings three small penwork vinestems emerge, each splitting into two and terminating in two gold trefoil leaves. Opposite these pages (ff. 24r, 30r, 32r, 34r, 36r, and 37r) the text is decorated with matching floral borders in the top and bottom margins with similar penwork vinestems in the inner margin,one extending from the center of the initial and one from the center of the text, and 12-line initials, gold on a pink and blue split ground. On all the leaves except f. 24r, a gold, pink, and blue baguette extends down the inner margin from the initial, and the lower vinestem grows out of that. Many 7-, 6-, 5-, and 2-line gold initials on pink and blue; 1-line versicles either blue on red or or gold on black penwork grounds. Rubrication throughout, rather more than usual.

Farquhar in his article"Identity in an Anonymous Age: Bruges Manuscript Illuminators and Their Signs," points out that this atelier has been linked with several other books of hours including MS 106 Upholland College, Wigan England; MS Canon. Liturg. 17, Bodleian Library, Oxford; MS 12009, from the Merseyside Museum of Liverpool; and Reid MS 45, the Worcester Book of Hours, in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The worshop palette is distinctive, with grey-green, bright orange, greyish-pink and blue predominating with gold accents. The figures may be discerned by their gracefully attenuated limbs, their long, sweet, oval faces shadowed with grey-green, and their small mouths, half-moon eyes and large gold halos outlined in black. The landscapes are equally recognizable, grey-green and often hilly with rushing water in the foreground and dark red or gold skies.

Binding: Early eigthteenth-century gold-tooled French crimson morocco, fully gilt spine and edges. HEURES/ MANUSC in gold, on spine.

Written between 1425 and 1450 in Flanders, possibly Bruges, for British use. The French prayers added to this text suggest that it remained on the continent. Early provenance unknown. A 29 January 1971 letter from Lathrop C. Harper, Inc. to Frank S. Streeter includes an undated catalogue entry from Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London that describes this text. Given to Bryn Mawr College Library in 1973 by Ruth Cheney Streeter in honor of Jeanette Ridlon Piccard.

Bibliography: Snyder, James, "'Where Subtle Workmanship will Brightly Shine'-- Late Gothic Books of Hours in the Canaday Library," Bryn Mawr Now 8.4 (April 1981). Farquhar, James Douglas, "Identity in an Anonymous Age: Bruges Manuscript Illuminators and Their Signs," Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 11 (1980), 371-383. For further discussion of artists' stamps see the Sotheby-Park Bernet Catalogue, Monday, 21 June 1982: Twenty Western Illuminated Manuscripts from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Century from the Library at Donaueschingen, #15. Book of Hours with Printed Initials," pp. 95-99. See also the description of MS 310 in the Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Yale University, v. 2 (1987) 102-106 for discussion of a very similar text.



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Last Update: January 23, 2018