Item MS105 - Book of hours

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Book of hours

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Edition area

Edition statement

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • between 1470 and 1480 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

Bound manuscript, 327 p.

There are 112 pages with borders, depicting flowers and birds or animals, as well as five large miniatures surrounded by an ornate border of flowers, birds and fabulous beasts. The miniatures depict the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Mary and the Apostles (f. 28), the Annunciation (f. 34), Presentation of Jesus in the temple (f. 74), David and Goliath (f. 94), and death attacking a young woman (f. 116). Many of the illuminated letters are heightened in gold. The book is written on vellum.

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Archival description area

Custodial history

The use of the feminine form in the Obsecro te (f. 150) suggests that the book was originally produced for a woman. The earliest known owner was John Scott Whiting (b.1749), whose bookplate is pasted inside the front cover. It is presumed that it passed to his eldest son Matthew (1787-1871), and then to his son Henry (1819-1894), and finally to his daughter Juliette Elizabeth Marie (d.1933). Juliette married Major-General Alfred Turner (1868-1919) in 1902. Turner's bookplate is also in the book.

Scope and content

Manuscript is primarily in Latin with headings and saints names in French. The original description from the dealer indicated that it was 'composed in the style of the School of Tours'. However, the saints' days selected for inclusion in the calendar as well as textual variations in the Office of the Virgin suggest that it was produced for use in the Troyes region of France.

Notes area

Physical condition

The volume was rebound in green velvet with a sterling silver clasp in England in 1905. It was completely restored and rebound in 2014.

Immediate source of acquisition

Item was purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd. in December 1967.


Language of material

  • French
  • Latin

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Gloves must be worn when handling this item.

Finding aids

Associated materials

A digitized copy of the manuscript is available in McMaster's Digital Archives.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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