Book of Hours (Use of Châlons-sur-Marne)



Canberra, The Australian National University Library

Remarks by the Editor

This description was composed by Otto Ege.

General Information

Title Book of Hours (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis)
Shelfmarks From the collection of Otto F. Ege
Material Vellum leaf from an illuminated medieval manuscript
Place of Origin The Netherlands
Date of Origin Late XVth century
Script, Hands

Latin Text; Lettre de Forme

Current Condition

Dimensions 170 x 120 mm


  • Content Item
    • Text Language English
    • Content Description

      In the XVth century Books of Hours were as much in demand in the Netherlands as they were in France and England. In many of these books it is difficult to distinguish the Dutch Hours from those of Northern France or the Rhineland. In the middle of the century this whole area was interested in naturalism and made its illustrations so vivid that sometimes they approached those of our seed catalogues. It is not difficult to recognize carnations, pansies, columbines, and strawberries. The style later became even more realistic when the naturalistic flowers were painted with cast shadows. When such flowery decorations are found on a rather heavy piece of vellum, entangled with the swirling acanthus leaf and accompanied by a heavy lettre de forme script, one can be fairly safe in assigning the leaf to the province of Brabant. It was a difficult technical achievement at this time to apply the gouache colors to gold leaf so that they would adhere without flaking.

Other available descriptions

  • Maggs Bros., European Miniatures and Illumination & Calligraphy also early writing from Egypt. Bulletin No. 11. London (November 1982)
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  • R. Faunce, "Cataloguing and making discoverable ANU Library's small collection of detached medieval manuscript leaves", The Australian National University, 2018.
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