Coxe MS. 10
Book of Hours, Use of Evreux, in Latin

[France, Évreux or perhaps Rouen, mid-15th century]


A BOOK OF HOURS WITH 12 FULL-PAGE ILLUMINATIONS

 15th Century Book of Hours
Click here to see a flat image of these pages
 

This is a fairly typical example of a book of hours, the most commonly surviving type of 15th-century book, made in a provincial French milieu. Books of hours contain versions of some of the devotions performed by monks in monasteries, considerably shortened and adapted to make them suitable for lay owners. They take their name from the canonical hours during the day, at roughly three-hour intervals, when one was supposed to stop what one was doing and attend to one's devotions.

As usual this example starts with a calendar of Church feast days, including those especially important in Évreux, such as the local saint, Taurinus; this is followed by the Little Hours of the Virgin Mary, with a rubric in French stating that it is 'a l'usage de Evreux', and with large illuminations depicting events from the early life of Christ. The Hours of the Cross, which follows, has miniatures depicting the events surrounding the end of Christ's life, from his Betrayal to his Entombment. A variety of other devotions follow, ending with an Office of the Dead, to be said on behalf of the souls of friends and relatives.

The manuscript was given to the College by William Shortgrave (d.1725), who was a Fellow for the last few years of his life.

Read Peter Kidd's article on this item that was written for the Wadham Gazette
Read Peter Kidd's full bibliographic description of this item

Text kindly provided, especially for this exhibition, by Peter Kidd