Western Manuscripts at Bridwell Library to 1650
Bridwell MS 9 [Book of Hours]
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[Book of Hours],
Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, f. 19r.

Title: [Book of Hours]. Use of Sarum.
Origin: [Flanders (Ghent?): c. 1420].
Description: Illuminated manuscript on parchment. 160 leaves.  18.5 x 12.8 cm.  Single column of 16 lines.  Textblock: 10.5 x 6.5 cm.
Binding: Nineteenth-century green embossed velvet over pasteboard.
Comments: This small codex is written in a gothic script in brown ink; frame ruled, with large margins. The manuscript begins with a calendar that emphasizes English saints such as Thomas a Becket, Alban, Augustine and Alphege of Canterbury, Aldhelm of Sherborne, Cuthbert, Edith and Wulstan of Worcester, Edmund and the two Edwards (each in red-letter). The Suffrages of St. George are also prominent, preceding the petitions to the apostles, and featuring a painted miniature of St. George. Four added contemporary notations indicate the four seasonal solstices on the days of March 22 (ver), June 23 (etas), September 24 (autum primo) and December 23 (yemps). "The Bridwell Hours" were undoubtedly made for an English owner, who either commissioned it, or, more likely, bought it ready-made from its continental producers.
Decoration: Fifteen full-color miniature paintings with gold within full-page floral borders; numerous vine-leaf and gold initials with floral pen work extensions. 

Provenance: (1) Sister Lucie Fyherse[?], England, 15th-century inscription, f. 18v. (2) Unknown, Poland, 17th-18th-century added prayers in Polish. (3) Ferdinand comte de Plettenberg, Nordkirchen, 1733, inscription, f. 1r. (4) Plettenberg family, Nordkirchen, 1833, inscription. (5) Maria comtesse d'Esterhzy, ne Comtesse de Plettenberg, Nordkirchen, 1861, bookplate. (6) Esterhzy family 1861-1903. (7) Dukes of Arenberg, Nordkirchen, 1903-1952, manuscript 78. (8) Jacques Seligman & Company, Inc. New York, 1953. (9) Lathrop C. Harper, Inc., catalogue n.s. 13, no. 2 (New York, 1961), pp. 4-8. (10) Seven Gables Bookshop, New York, 1961. (11) Private owner (England?), 1961-1998. (12) Christie's, London, 3 June 1998, no. 18, purchased by Bridwell Library.
Bibliography:
Jacques Seligman,
Illuminated Manuscripts (11th century through the 16th century) from the Bibliothque of Their Highnesses the Dukes d'Arenberg (New York, 1952), pp. 68-71, no. 78.

Erwin Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character (Cambridge MA, 1953), p. 406, note 6 for p. 121.

Claudine Lemaire, "La biblioth
que des Ducs d'Arenberg, une premire apprche," Liber amicorum Herman Liebaers (Brussels, 1984), p. 102, no. 78.

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