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Walters Ms. W.270, Book of Hours (Use of Rome)

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Shelf mark



Book of Hours (Use of Rome)

Text title
Book of Hours


This Book of Hours was produced in Bruges ca. 1440-50. Although it is misbound and missing several illuminations, those that survive reveal a striking collaboration of Spanish artists and a group of South Netherlandish illuminators known now as the Masters of the Gold Scrolls. The Spanish influence suggests that the manuscript was possibly created for a member of the Catalan community in Bruges, and the possibility of Spanish ownership is strengthened by the added seventeenth-century heraldic frontispiece containing arms connected to several families of Spanish origin.


Ca. 1440-50 CE




Supplied name: Gold Scrolls group






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium-weight calf; standard preparation; front flyleaves i and iv are antique paper; front flyleaves ii and iii are parchment; back flyleaves i and ii are parchment; back flyleaf iii is paper


Foliation: iv+152+iii

Foliation in upper right corners, rectos


Formula: Undetermined due to tightness of binding; miniatures likely inserted singletons

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None



14.4 cm wide by 18.6 cm high

Written surface

8.0 cm wide by 11.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 15
  3. Layout does not apply to calendar: 5 columns, 17 ruled lines

fols. 1r - 152v:
  1. Title: Book of Hours
  2. Artist: Gold Scrolls group
  3. Hand note: Well-formed textura
  4. Decoration note: Seven full-page miniatures; periodic foliate side margins with flowers and drolleries; large foliate initials in gold, rose, and blue with white details mark beginning of major divisions of text (2 to 5 lines); "KL" in blue and rose against gold ground (2 lines); line fillers in blue, rose, and gold throughout; rubrics in red; text in black ink
fols. 1r - 1r:
  1. Title: Heraldic frontispiece
  2. Decoration note: Full-page frontispiece with ornate heraldry, central cartouche with inscription "OFFICIUM/ BEATE MARIE/ VIRGINIS" in gold, crowned coat of arms above inscription split in two, black sash on gold on left, five blue stars with eight points on gold on right
fols. 2r - 13v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Incipit: Januarius. xxxi.
  3. Contents: Calendar, full, graded in red and brown ink; contains saints indicating locus of Tournai, also of Bruges and Arras, as well as English saints; many dates given are incorrect; saints of note include Gudula (Jan. 1), Jodocus (Jan. 9), Babylas (Jan. 24), Brigid (Jan. 31, usually Feb. 1), Waldetrudis (Feb. 4, usually Apr. 9), Amandus (Feb. 6), Vedast (Feb. 7, usually Feb. 6), Irenaeus and Abundius (Feb. 11, usually Aug. 26), Austregisil (Feb. 15, usually May 20), Eleutherius (Feb. 20), Richard (Feb. 23), David (Mar. 3, usually Mar. 1), "Rondulphi episcopi" (Mar. 10, possibly Bishop of Rochester, who is usually Mar. 7 (?), Abundius (Mar. 26), Ezechiel (Apr. 5, usually Apr. 10), Daniel (Apr. 8, usually Jul. 21), Ursmar (Apr. 16, usually Apr. 18), Peter deacon (Apr. 17), Cuthbert (Apr. 22, usually Mar. 20), Thomas the apostle (Jul. 3), Gaugeric (May 4, usually Aug. 11), Virgin of the martyrs (May 12, usually May 13), Brendan (May 17, usually May 16), Peter martyr (June 3, usually Apr. 29), Eligius (June 25), Goaris (July 5), Eleutherius (July 9), Bruno (July 18), Mary Magdalene (July 22), Nicasius (July 26, July 23), Anne (July 28), Oswald (Aug. 4), Bernard of Clairvaux (Aug. 27), Aegydius (Sept. 1), Humbert (Sept. 6), Methodius (Sept. 18), Remigius (Oct. 1), Dionysius (Oct. 9), Venantius (Oct. 11), Basolus (Oct. 13, usually Oct. 26), Donatian (Oct. 14), Cordula (Oct. 22), Piatus (Oct. 26), All Souls (Nov. 1), Innumerable (Nov. 3), Winnoc (Nov. 5, usually Nov. 6), Willibrord (Nov. 7), Livin (Nov. 13), Maclovius (Nov. 15), Maurus (Nov. 21), Eligius (Dec. 1), Nicasius (Dec. 14), "O sapientia" (Dec. 18), Gratianus (Dec. 19), "Dum medium silentium" (Dec. 30)
fols. 14v - 17v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Cross
  2. Rubric: Incipit officium de sancta cruce.
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Contents: Sections of text missing in Terce, None, Vespers, and Compline
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 14v
fols. 18r - 26v:
  1. Title: Mass of the Virgin
  2. Incipit: ...Domine deus agnus dei filius patris
  3. Contents: Begins imperfectly
fols. 27v - 90v:
  1. Title: Hours of the Virgin
  2. Rubric: Hic incipiunt hore beate marie virginis. Secundum consuetudinem romane ecclesie. Ad matutinas.
  3. Incipit: Domine labia mea
  4. Contents: Use of Rome; misbound, missing text in Matins, Lauds, None, and Compline
  5. Decoration note: Five surviving full-page miniatures, fols. 27v, 60v (probably misbound into its current position, and was originally intended to introduce None, which begins on fol. 72) 63v, 69v, and 75v
fols. 91r - 101r:
  1. Title: Seven Penitential Psalms
  2. Rubric: Septem psalmi penitenciales.
fols. 101r - 109v; 111r - 111v:
  1. Title: Litany, petitions, and collects
  2. Rubric: Letania maior.
  3. Incipit: Kyrieeleison [sic]
  4. Contents: Fols. 101r-111v: litany; fols. 105v-108v: petitions; fols. 108v-109v, and 111r-v: collects (fol. 110r-v is misbound, and contains part of Office of the Dead); saints in litany suggest Bruges, Tournai, Northern France; saints of note include sixteen apostles, beginning with Peter and ending with Mark; twenty-seven martyrs, which include Quintinus, Adrian, Livin, Lambert, George, Piatus, and Nicasius; twenty-seven monks, confessors, priests, or doctors, which include Leonard, Donatian, Francis, Basil, Eleutherius, Winnoc, Bavo, Remigius, Eligius, and Aegydius; thirty virgins, including Anne, Mary Magdalene, Brigid, Genevieve, Amalberga, Gertrude, Euphemia, Helen, Karitas, and Ursula
fols. 110r - 110v; 112r - 152v:
  1. Title: Office of the Dead
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt vigilie mortuorum ad vesperas. antiphona.
  3. Incipit: Placebo. Dilexi quoniam
  4. Contents: Misbound, incomplete
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniature fol. 112v


fol. 1r:

  1. W.270, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Heraldic frontispiece with arms of the Rojas family of Castille(?), and the Belle-Combe of Dauphiné, or the de la Chapelle family of Cambrai
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Label: This is a seventeenth-century addition.

fol. 14v:

  1. W.270, fol. 14v
  2. Title: Crucifixion
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Cross

fol. 27v:

  1. W.270, fol. 27v
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Matins

fol. 60v:

  1. W.270, fol. 60v
  2. Title: Presentation in the Temple
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Sext
  5. Label: Note: this miniature was likely originally before fol. 72, and would have begun None

fol. 63v:

  1. W.270, fol. 63v
  2. Title: Nativity and Adoration
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Prime

fol. 69v:

  1. W.270, fol. 69v
  2. Title: Annunciation to the shepherds
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Terce

fol. 75v:

  1. W.270, fol. 75v
  2. Title: Massacre of the Innocents
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Hours of the Virgin: Vespers

fol. 112v:

  1. W.270, fol. 112v
  2. Title: Funeral service
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Office of the Dead


The binding is not original.

Rebound in Paris, France, ca. nineteenth century, signed R. Petit; brown boarded-grain goatskin; blind-tooled frame design around sides; fleurs-de-lis, leaf, and petal patterns on outer boards; two gold-tooled fillets around outer edges; gold-tooled foliate turn-ins; marbleized pastedowns and facing flyleaves; red, green, and yellow endbands and red ribbon marker


Made in Bruges, ca. 1440-50, for the Use of Rome, associated with Tournai and Arras; Spanish and South Netherlandish illuminators, and possibly created for a member of the Catalan community in Bruges

Spain, seventeenth century; full-page frontispiece with heraldic cartouche, gilded inscription reads: "OFFICIUM/ BEATE MARIE/ VIRGINIS;" dual coat of arms attributed to the Rojas family of Castille (?) and to the de la Chapelle family of Cambrai; nineteenth-century Parisian dealer associates Belle-Combe family of Dauphiné to latter arms: "...les armes d'une famille de Bellécombe en Dauphiné," front flyleaf iv, v

Duchesse de Berry, ownership inscription on front flyleaf iv, v; "Vente de la collection de Mme. la Duchesse de Berry, 22 Mars 1864" (Paris); descriptive note below by book dealer: "MSC, tres beau manuscrit de la fin du 14e siècle ou du comm[encemen]t du 15e siècle, enrichi de 7 grandes miniatures à pleine page, d'une grande finesse; De la Bibliothèque de la Duchesse de Berry; Comme frontispiece une grande miniature du 17e siècle où sont ..... les armes d'une famille de Bellécombe en Dauphiné accolées aux Royat;" note in file reads: "27 March 1864, not identified with certainty"

Fontan, Paris, purchased March 27, 1909, no. 28; note in file reads: "Sale of X (Paris, March 27, 1909, n.28), bought by Fontan"

Léon Gruel collection, no. 12, Paris, after 1909, note in file reads: "No. 12; Collection; Leon Gruel;" possible ownership inscription on front flyleaf i, v: "J V [roman numeral 5] 12"

Henry Walters, Baltimore, between 1909 and 1931, by purchase from Gruel


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Delaissé, Leon M.J. Miniatures medievales de la libraire de Bourgogne au Cabinet des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. Brussels: Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, 1959; cat. no. 216.

De Ricci, S., 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. 795, cat. no. 242.

Panofsky, Erwin. Early Netherlandish Painting. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953; pp. 61, 121, 123.

Delaissé, Leon M.J. "An Exhibition of Netherlandish Book Illumination, April 22 through May 12." Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin 17.3 (1960): 94-113; cat. no. 32.

Delaissé, Leon M.J., James H. Marrow, and John de Wit. The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Illuminated Manuscripts. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1977; p. 214.

Dogaer, Georges. Flemish Miniature Painting in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Amsterdam: B.M. Israël, 1987; p. 31, 36.

Clark, Gregory T. "The Chronology of the Louthe Master and His Identification with Simon Marmion." In Margaret of York, Simon Marmion, and The Visions of Tondal, edited by T. Kren, pp. 209-222. Malibu, 1992. Papers delivered at a symposium organized by the Department of Manuscripts of the J. Paul Getty Museum in collaboration with the Huntington Library and Art Collections, June 21-23, 1990; p. 148, fig. 195.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, Belgium, 1250-1530. Part 1. Baltimore, London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 181-186, cat. no. 239.

Nash, Susie. Between France and Flanders: Manuscript Illumination in Amiens. London: The British Library, 1999; p. 209 (n. 46 for page 193).

Vanwijnsberghe, Dominique. "Le cycle d'enfance des petites de la vierge dans les livres d'heures des pays-bas méridionaux." In Manuscripten en miniaturen: Studies aangeboden aan Anne S. Korteweg bij haar afscheid van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Bijdragen tot de Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Boekhandel. Nieuwe Reeks (8). Edited by Jos Biemans, Klaas van der Hoek, Kathryn M. Rudy, and Ed van der Vlist, 355-366. Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2007; p. 362.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Joyal, Stephanie; Marrow, James; Noel, William; 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.