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Walters Ms. W.192, Book of Hours in Dutch

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Shelf mark



Book of Hours in Dutch

Text title
Book of Hours


Authority name: Geert Groote

Note: Translator


This book of hours was created in the Netherlands in the fifteenth century. Written entirely in Dutch, its calendar is for the use of Utrecht. However, it was probably made in Haarlem, which produced books of hours with this kind of border decoration. Its folios are highly finished, and it is richly illuminated throughout with sprouting foliage, occasionally inhabited by people, animals, and grotesques. Large decorative initials mark the main divisions in the text, the first of which is historiated with an image of the Virgin and Child. Especially notable is the fine quality and abundance of its burnished gold, found in the initials and vegetation on nearly every page of the manuscript.


Second half of the 15th century CE


Haarlem, Netherlands






The primary language in this manuscript is Dutch; Flemish.

Support material


Highly finished cream-colored parchment, thin to medium weight


Foliation: i+157+ii

Flyleaves are added laid paper; modern pencil foliation upper right corners, rectos


Formula: 1, 1(8,-1), 2(6), 3-6(8), 7(8,-3), 8(*,-2,4,5,7), 9-12(8), 13(6), 14(8), 15(4), 16-21(8), 22(6,-6), ii

Catchwords: Mostly trimmed off; traces found on fols. 50v, 54v, and 62v

Signatures: None

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 8(2), 14(3), 22(4), 30(5), 38(6), 44(7), 51(8), 55(9), 63(10), 71(11), 79(12), 87(13), 93(14), 101(15), 105(16), 113(17), 121(18), 129(19), 137(20), 145(21), 153(22)


13.2 cm wide by 19.1 cm high

Written surface

7.0 cm wide by 9.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 19
  3. Ruled in ink

fols. 1r - 157r:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Hand note: Gothic bookhand
  3. Decoration note: One historiated initial (8 lines) and five large decorated initials (6-9 lines) with foliate margins containing occasional birds, insects, people, and hybrid creatures; smaller decorated initials (2 to 4 lines), including "KL" in calendar, done in blue, rose, and burnished gold, many with sprouting foliage, some with bars extending from top to bottom of text block; small initials (1 line) in alternating blue and gold initials accented with red and purple penwork throughout majority of text; geometric line fillers in blue and gold in litany; rubrics in red, text in black ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius
  3. Contents: Calendar for use of Utrecht; mostly full, graded in red and black
fols. 14r - 60r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Hier beghinnen die seuen ghetiden van onser lieuer vrouwen. Mettentijt Domine.
  3. Incipit: Here du selte opdoen myn lippen
  4. Decoration note: Historiated initial fol. 14r
fols. 61r - 82r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Cross
  2. Rubric: Hier beghinnen die seuen ghetiden vanden heilighen cruce. Die mettentijt.
  3. Incipit: Here ihesu criste des leuenden goods soen
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial fol. 61r
fols. 83r - 104r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Hier beghinnen die seuen ghetiden vanden heilighen gheest Die metten Domine la.
  3. Incipit: Here du selte opdoen mijn lippen
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial fol. 83r
fols. 105r - 120v:
  1. Title: Penitential Psalms and litany
  2. Rubric: Hier beghint die seuen psalm van penitencien.
  3. Incipit: Here in dynre verbolghentheit en straffe
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial fol. 105r
fols. 121r - 152v:
  1. Title: Office of the Dead
  2. Rubric: Hier begint die vigilie van neghen lessen.
  3. Incipit: Mi hebben omme beuanghen
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial fol. 121r
fols. 153r - 155v:
  1. Title: Prayers for the Eucharist
  2. Rubric: Dit ghebet selmen lesen eer dat men gaen wil totten heilighen sacrament.
  3. Incipit: Three prayers: fol. 153r: O ouerste priester ende waerachtig biscop; fol. 155v: O he ihesu criste lof si dynre ontsprekeliker minnintliker goedertierenth(eit); fol. 156r: Lof si den vader inder moghenth(eit). Lof si den sone inder wijsh(eit)
  4. Decoration note: Large decorated initial fol. 153r


fol. 14r:

  1. W.192, fol. 14r
  2. Title: Initial "H" (Here du selte) with Virgin and Child, and prophet with scroll in margin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "H," 8 lines
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin
  5. Comment:

    The painting of the Virgin and Child has been heavily restored.

fol. 61r:

  1. W.192, fol. 61r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "H" (Here ihesu criste) with grotesques in margin
  3. Form: Decorated initial "H," 9 lines
  4. Text: Hours of the Holy Cross

fol. 83r:

  1. W.192, fol. 83r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "H" (Here du selte) with human-faced animal in margin
  3. Form: Decorated initial "H," 9 lines
  4. Text: Hours of the Holy Spirit

fol. 105r:

  1. W.192, fol. 105r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "H" (Here in dynre) with beast-legged bishop in margin
  3. Form: Decorated initial "H," 8 lines
  4. Text: Penitential Psalms

fol. 121r:

  1. W.192, fol. 121r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "M" (Mi hebben) with beast-legged nude woman in margin
  3. Form: Decorated initial "M," 9 lines
  4. Text: Office of the Dead

fol. 153r:

  1. W.192, fol. 153r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "O" (O ouerste)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "O," 6 lines
  4. Text: Prayers for the Eucharist


The binding is not original.

French, eighteenth century, brown, oiled leather, roll border with silver design, cast and chiselled metal corner pieces and clasps


Created in the fifteenth century in the Netherlands

Marshall C. Lefferts collection, sold 1901; ex-libris on inside corner, upper board

George H. Richmond, purchased from Lefferts sale, 1901

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1935, p. 793, cat. no. 3.


Principal cataloger: Marrow, James

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.