Home > Digitized Walters Manuscripts

This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.

Walters Ms. W.208, Book of Hours

Browse images (Browse images in a new window) | TEI in XML format

Shelf mark



Book of Hours

Text title
Book of Hours


This Book of Hours was likely created in or near Antwerp ca. 1470, as its artist was influenced by the Antwerp-based illuminator Lieven van Lathem (active there 1462-1493). The book appears to have been connected with the diocese of Tournai soon after its creation, for an early hand added a large number of saints from that region to the calendar in French. Its twelve surviving full-page miniatures are of fine quality, and closely recall the approach to composition and figural style of the Prayer Book of Charles the Bold from ca. 1469, now at the Getty (MS. 37).


Ca. 1470 CE




Authority name: (Orbit of) Lieven, van Lathem, active 1454-1493






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin. The secondary language of this manuscript is French, Middle (ca.1400-1600).

Support material


Thin to medium weight, well-prepared parchment; margins have been scraped clean at some point; flyleaves and adjoining pastedowns are modern parchment


Foliation: i+152+i

Some early pencil foliation lower right corners rectos (partially erased); modern pencil foliation upper right corners, rectos


Formula: Quires 1-2: 6 (fols. 1-12); Quire 3: 8 (fols. 13-20); Quire 4: 8, with third folio cancelled (fols. 21-27); Quire 5: 6 (fols. 28-33); Quire 6-7: 8 (fols. 34-49); Quire 8: 8, with first folio cancelled (fols. 50-56); Quire 9-12: 8 (fols. 57-88); Quire 13: 6 (fols. 89-94); Quire 14-15: 8 (fols. 95-110); Quire 16: 8, with a ninth folio hooked at end (fols. 111-119); Quire 17-19: 8 (fols. 120-143); Quire 20: 8, with a ninth folio hooked at end (fols. 144-152)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None



8.4 cm wide by 11.4 cm high

Written surface

4.4 cm wide by 6.6 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16
  3. Ruled in mauve ink; layout does not apply to calendar: written space 4.3 x 6.8 cm, 3 columns, 17 lines

fols. 1r - 152v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Contents: Incomplete; lacking Office of the Dead, likely originally at end of manuscript
  3. Hand note: Littera batarda
  4. Decoration note: Twelve extant full-page miniatures, with one likely lost along with now missing text of Office of the Dead; dense foliate borders around miniatures; more delicate partial borders found only in outer side margins from fols. 36r-39v and fols. 128v-143v; large decorated initials in blue on gold grounds, often containing flowers, at major text openings (3-4 lines); smaller decorated initials in blue and rose on gold grounds, for secondary text divisions (2 lines); small initials in gold on blue and pink grounds with white patterning for versals (1 line) and for KL in calendar (2 lines); line fillers throughout in blue and rose with white designs and gold dots; rubrics in dark rose; text in brown ink
fols. 1r - 12v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies xxxi. luna xxx.
  3. Contents: Calendar a quarter to half full; graded in rose and brown, with some erasures and additions; saints are North French and Southern Netherlandish, with original saints in Latin, and additional saints added early in French in two different hands suggest an association with the Tournai diocese; saints original to the calendar include William (bishop of Bourges, Jan. 8), Amandus (Feb. 6), Euphemia (Mar. 9), Callistus (Apr. 4), Marcellinus (Apr. 20), Ciriacus (Apr. 30), Gervasius (May 13), Peter hermit (May 18, rare), Francis (translation, May 25), Nicomedes (dedication of basilica in Rome, June 2, normally June 1), Basil (June 14), Visitation (July 2), Cletus (July 12), Damasus (Aug. 7), Adrian (Sept. 9), Remigius and Bavo (Oct. 1), Francis (Oct. 4), Dionysius (Oct. 9), Anastasius (Oct. 11), Leonard (Nov. 5), Clement (Nov. 14); saints added early on in French include Anthony (Jan. 17), Nicholas (translation, May 9), Barbara (translation, July 8), Anne (July 26), Virgin of the Snow (Aug. 5), Maurice (Sept. 22), Piatus (Oct. 1), Ghislain (Oct. 9), Germanus (Oct. 11), Maxellendis (Oct. 12, normally Nov. 13), Donatian (Oct. 14), Hubert (Nov. 3), Presentation of the Virgin (Nov. 21)
fols. 13r - 20v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore sancte crucis
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 13r
fols. 21r - 27r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Holy Spirit
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt hore de sancto spiritu
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 21r
fols. 27v - 40r:
  1. Title: Mass of the Virgin with Gospel Sequences
  2. Rubric: Incipit missa beate marie virginis.
  3. Incipit: Et introibo ad altare dei
  4. Contents: Fols. 27v-34r: Mass of the Virgin; fols. 34r-40r: Gospel sequences: John 1.1-14, Luke 1.26-38, Matthew 2.1-12, Mark 16.14-20
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 27v
fols. 40v - 117r:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Hore beate marie virginis.
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Text note: Use of Rome
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 40v
fols. 117v - 127v:
  1. Title: Advent Office of the Virgin
  2. Incipit: Deus in adjutorium meum intende
fols. 128r - 142r:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi
  3. Incipit: Domine ne infurore tuo
  4. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 128r
fols. 142r - 152v:
  1. Title: Litany, petitions, and collects
  2. Rubric: Letanie.
  3. Incipit: Kyrieleison
  4. Contents: Fols. 142r-145v: Litany, including sixteen apostles/evangelists/disciples/innocents from Peter to Mark; seventeen martyrs including Cornelius and Lupus; sixteen doctors/confessors/monks/hermits including Anthony, Nicholas, Martin, Leonard, Bernard, Francis, Louis (of Toulouse?), Eligius, Aegydius, and Dominic; fifteen virgins and widows, including Mary Magdalene, Mary Egyptian, Anne, Clare, Juliana, Elizabeth, Ursula, and Martha; fols. 145v-149r: petitions, invocations, and Psalm 69; fols. 149r-150r: imprecations; fols. 150r-152v: nine collects


fol. 13r:

  1. W.208, fol. 13r
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross

fol. 21r:

  1. W.208, fol. 21r
  2. Title: Pentecost
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Holy Spirit

fol. 27v:

  1. W.208, fol. 27v
  2. Title: Virgin of humility, lactans
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Mass of the Virgin

fol. 40v:

  1. W.208, fol. 40v
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Matins

fol. 63v:

  1. W.208, fol. 63v
  2. Title: Visitation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Lauds

fol. 77v:

  1. W.208, fol. 77v
  2. Title: Nativity and adoration of Christ
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Prime

fol. 83v:

  1. W.208, fol. 83v
  2. Title: Adoration of the Magi
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Terce

fol. 89v:

  1. W.208, fol. 89v
  2. Title: Presentation in the Temple
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Sext

fol. 95r:

  1. W.208, fol. 95r
  2. Title: Massacre of the Innocents
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: None

fol. 100v:

  1. W.208, fol. 100v
  2. Title: Flight into Egypt and fall of an idol
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Vespers

fol. 110v:

  1. W.208, fol. 110v
  2. Title: Death, Assumption, and Enthronement of the Virgin
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Compline

fol. 128r:

  1. W.208, fol. 128r
  2. Title: King David kneeling in prayer
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Seven Penitential Psalms


The binding is original.

Bound in Belgium in the second half of the fifteenth century; dark brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on three cords; possibly rebacked in the eighteenth century; covers blind tooled with patterns of foliage, birds, and lions; red and green silk endbands; traces of gilding on page edges but mostly scraped off; traces of spots for fasteners on fore-edge of boards


Created ca. 1470 by an artist influenced by the Antwerp-based illuminator Lieven van Lathem, making it likely this manuscript was also made in or near Antwerp

"Thomas S." inscribed name in sixteenth century on fol. 1r

Erased inscription in lower margin of fol. 1r may read "Bibliotheca Dunensis 1725" (?), possibly referring to a the Cistercian abbey Dunum near Bruges

Léon Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired from Gruel between 1895 and 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 799, cat. no. 269.

Miner, Dorothy. The Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Exhibition Catalogue for Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1949; cat. no. 123.

Flanders in the Fifteenth Century: Art and Civilization. Exhibition Catalogue, "Masterpieces of Flemish Art: van Eyck to Bosch," for Detroit and Bruges, Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit and Bruges: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1960; cat. no. 204.

Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production. Revised edition. New York: Faber and Faber, 1967; p. 444.

Bowles, Edmund A. "A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery." Music Library Association 32 (1976): 719-726; p. 723.

Owens, M.B. "Musical Subjects in the Illumination of Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century France and Flanders." Ph.D. diss, University of Chicago, 1987; p. 405, fig. 17.

Owens, Margaret B. “The Image of King David in Prayer in Fifteenth-Century Books of Hours.” Imago musicae 6 (1990): 23-38; pp. 23, 29 (fig. 4).

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 348-352, cat. no. 270.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Brown, Emily; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-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.