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Officium Beate Marie Virginis: secundum consuetudinem romane ecclesie.


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Uniform Title:
Book of hours
Corporate Author:
Catholic Church.
Latin. In Latin.
Earliest possible date:
Latest possible date:
[Italy (Florence), ca. 1460-1480]
  • Book
  • 225 leaves: parchment, ill., 114 mm. by 75 mm.
Ms. codex, illustrated manuscript on vellum. Title from full-page frontispiece (fol. 13v); also on front flyleaf and spine of binding. Text: Calendar (fol 1r); the Hours of the Virgin, with Matins (fol. 14r), Lauds (fol. 28r), Prime (fol. 48v), Terce (fol. 48v), Sext (fol. 54r), None (fol. 58v), Vespers (fol. 63r) and Compline (fol. 73r), with seasonal variants from fol. 79r; the Hours of the Passion (fol. 98r); the Office of the Dead (fol. 124r); the Gradual Psalms (fol. 182r); the Penitential Psalms (fol. 196r) and Litany; and the Hours of the Cross (fol. 222r). Collation: Parchment, fol. i12, ii1+10 [fol. 12 inserted], iii-ix10, x4, xi-xii10, xiii6, xiv-xviii10, xix8, xx10, xxi4, xxii-xxiii10, xxiv6, xxv4, with horizontal catchwords. Layout: Written in 13 lines, ruled in pale brown ink, written-space 64 mm. by 45 mm. Script: Written in dark brown ink in two sizes of a rounded gothic hand. Decoration: Rubrics in red, versal initials in red or blue, 2-line initials throughout in red or blue with full-length penwork in purple or red, seven large 4-line decorated initials in similar colors, five very large historiated initials with full or three-quarter illuminated borders, initials in leafy designs on burnished gold panels with borders of lush colored leaves extending into gold bezants and colored flowers and leaves infilled with brown penwork stems, sometimes with birds, putti, etc. Full-page frontispiece (fol. 13v) with illuminated border. Illumination: The work is probably by two artists. The frontispiece is in the style or hand of Ser Ricciardo di Nanni (fl. 1445-1480). The five historiated initials are in the style or hand of Francesco di Antonio del Chierico (1443-1484). The religious scenes are transferred into a setting of renaissance Florence. The miniatures are (1) fol. 13v, the beheading of Saint Katherine; (2) fol 14r, the Virgin and Child; (3) fol. 98r, the Crucifixion; (4) fol. 124r, a charnel house; (5) fol. 196r, King David with his psaltery; and (6) fol. 222r, Christ as the Man of Sorrows. Binding: Bound in late eighteenth-century (presumably Scottish) blind-stamped calf, title gilt, brown silk marker, paper endleaves, edges gilt and gauffered, in a pale brown morocco slipcase with gilt title. Origin: Written in Florence. The Calendar includes the Florentine saints Zenobius (25 May) and Reparata (8 October). The arms are those of Castellani and Baroncelli, both of Florence. The medieval chapels of the Castellani and Baroncelli families are adjacent in the basilica of Santa Croce, both with frescoes by members of the Gaddi family. The manuscript was perhaps made for a wedding. The arms of Castellani are below a miniature of Saint Katherine, which may indicate that the woman was Caterina Castellani. The arms of Baroncelli are flanked by dolphins, emblems of the Pazzi family, which might suggest allegiance to the Pazzi conspiracy against the Medici in 1478.
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