Italian abbreviated Book of Hours.
Franciscan, Use of Rome, mid- 15th century. 105 x 75 mm, seventy leaves, in gatherings of 10, written in a very fine liturgical rounded gothic hand in black and red ink, 15 lines, justification 65 x 45 mm, versal initials touched up in yellow, all main text divisions in alternating red and blue capitals of up to two lines. Later full vellum over wooden boards with three throngs. A very fine example, complete. Bookplate to first pastedown. The fine and firm hand of this intriguing manuscript suggests real care on the part of the scribe, who, judging from the Litany, might have been a Franciscan. All the same, the peculiar order of the Offices and their idiosyncratic emphasis (here in the Office of the Dead), typical of Italian practice, as well as the absence of illumination, suggests it was written for practical use by the clergy, perhaps within a monastery, rather than private devotion. In Italy, the secular demand for Book of Hours never reached the same volume as it did farther north.
(Item Id: 108658)