File NLW MS 23388B [RESTRICTED ACCESS]. - Horae (use of Paris),

Identity area

Reference code



Horae (use of Paris),


  • [15 cent., second ½]. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ii, 154 ff. : Parchment ; 195 x 130 mm. (written space 90 x 55 mm.). Late medieval panel-stamped binding, perhaps original but rebacked, dark brown calf over wooden boards, on five bands, double and treble ruled with two stamped panels on each cover, representing Christ standing in the tomb with the instruments of the Passion, and John the Baptist preaching to four seated figures in a landscape, in a composition almost identical to the examples in Denise Gid: Catalogue des reliures françaises estampées à froid ... de la Bibliothèque Mazarine (Paris, 1984), nos 599, 617, pl. 14; between the panels a repeated design of triangles containing a winged dragon, surrounding, on the upper cover, three fleur-de-lis in rectangles, the fleur-de-lis and a small Maltese cross repeated along the inner borders; edges gilded; closed with two metal clasps and catches. Offsets of pilgrim badges inside front cover and on ff. 1-2, 153 verso, one apparently representing a bishop, perhaps Thomas Becket.

Context area

Archival history

Armorial book-plate of 'I. Mansel', probably the John Mansel of Cosgrove Hall, Northamptonshire, who was killed at the battle of Coteau [Loire], 1794. Previously sold at Christie's, London (lot 10), on 16 December 1991.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Sotheby's; London; Purchased at auction, lot 115; 20 June 1995

Content and structure area

Scope and content

A Book of Hours of the use of Paris, in Latin and French, second half of the fifteenth century, apparently of Breton provenance, containing a Calendar in French (ff. 1-12 verso); Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ff. 13-70), incorporating the Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost from the end of Lauds onwards; 'Obsecro te' (ff. 70 verso-5 verso); 'O intemerata' (ff. 75 verso-8 verso); part of the Gospel of St John (ff. 78 verso-80); suffrages of SS Sebastian, Michael, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul the Apostle, Christopher, Nicholas, Julian, Mary Magdalen, Catherine and Margaret (ff. 80 verso-8); penitential Psalms (ff. 89-103 verso); Litany (ff. 104-10 verso); and Office of the Dead (ff. 111-52 verso). Illuminated initials, mainly one-line and two-line in text, mostly four-line in illuminated borders of coloured foliage and flowers, dominant colours red, blue, pink and gold. Eight polychrome miniatures in arched compartments above four-, three- and two-line illuminated initials with four or five lines of text, all within full borders of same style as before; subjects are the Annunciation (f. 13), Crucifixion (f. 38), Pentecost with Virgin Mary (f. 39 verso), Martyrdom of St Sebastian (f. 80 verso), St Christopher carrying Christ child (f. 83 verso), St Margaret and dragon (f. 87 verso), King David at prayer (f. 89) and funeral scene (f. 111). The Calendar includes St Yvo of Brittany and St Mellon of Llaneirwg, Monmouthshire, and Plomelin, Brittany, and the Litany the Breton Saints Yvo, Maglor of Dol and Armel. Added on f. 154 by a late fifteenth-century hand is a hymn to the Virgin, in French, by Guillaume Alexis (fl. 1451-86) (see Piaget, A. & Picot, É. (eds): Poétiques de Guillaume Alexis (Paris, 1908), pp. 199-200); the same poem is attested in at least two other late fifteenth-century manuscripts of Breton provenance (London, BL Add. 18838 and Paris, BN lat. 1369; Långfors, Arthur: Les Incipit des poèmes français antérieurs au XVIe siècle (Leipzig, 1971), p. 149). Traces of another, unidentified poem in French, in a different but perhaps contemporary hand, are visible on f. 154 verso.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • Latin
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

Latin, French.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The contents of NLW MSS 22853-23691 are indexed in greater detail in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003).

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 23388B [RESTRICTED ACCESS].

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2009 & August 2011.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Bethan Ifan. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IX (Aberystwyth, 2003);

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23388B [RESTRICTED ACCESS]; $z - Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only..