BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 505
Northern France, s. XV2/4
Hours, use of Amiens, partly in French
1. ff. 1r-12v Calendar in French, full, written in black and red ink (2 pages, recto and verso,
for each month). Computistical data: Golden Number, Day Letter, Roman Calendar giving only
Kalends, Nones, Ides without numbers. Among the saints: Firminus bishop of Amiens (in red, 13
Jan., 1 Sept. and 25 September), Ulphia (31 Jan.), Richarius (in red, 9 Oct.), Fuscianus (in red, 11
2. ff. 13r-14v Gospel Lessons (John 1:1-14; Mark 1: 26-38).
3. ff. 15r-70v Hours of the Virgin. The opening folio and the first folio of Nones (after f. 58)
are missing. Only the Lauds have a French rubric: "Chi commenchent Laudes".
4. ff. 71r-86v Penitential Psalms, Litany and Prayers. To be noted in the Litany: Firminus
5. ff. 87r-90v Short Hours of the Cross. The opening folio is missing.
6. ff. 91r-94v Short Hours of the Holy Spirit.
7. ff. 95r-137v Office of the Dead. The opening folio is missing.
8. ff. 138r-141v Fifteen Joys of the Virgin, in French. Sonet 458. The opening folio is
9. ff. 142r-144v Seven Requests to the Lord, in French. Sonet 504.
Parchment, ff. II (modern parchment) + 144 + II (modern parchment), 215 x 150 mm. I follow
the modern foliation in the upper corner of the rectos; there is another deviant one in their lower
corner. Illuminated leaves have been excised after ff. 14, 58, 86, 94, 137.
I-II 6 (ff. 1-12), III 2 (ff. 13-14), IV 8 (- 1, ff. 15-21), V 10 (ff. 22-31), VI 8 (ff. 33-40, + 1 leaf, f.
32), VII-VIII 8 (ff. 41-56), IX 8 (- 3, ff. 57-63), X 6 (ff. 64-69), XI-XII 8 (ff. 70-85), XIII 8 (- 2,
ff. 86-92), XIV 8 (- 3, ff. 93-99), XV 8 (ff. 100-107), XVI 8 (ff. 109-116, + 1 leaf, f. 108), XVII 8
(ff. 117-124), XVIII 8 (- 1, ff. 125-131), XIX 8 (- 7, ff. 132-138), XX 6 (ff. 139-144). Horizontal
catchwords in small Gothica Textualis, towards the right, on quires VI to XIX. They all seem to
have been erased, except on f. 107v; the latter catchword matches the text on the singleton f.
108r. The erased catchword on f. 124v matches the text on f. 125r in the irregular quire XVIII.
Ruled in pink ink for one column of 17 lines below top line throughout, 105 x 65 mm. The ruling
type is in principle 13, but the bounding lines seldom extend into the margins and the horizontal
through lines seldom extend into the inner margin; in the outer margin they do not extend
beyond the border decoration. On the miniature pages there are 5 lines of text below the
Written in Northern Gothica Textualis Formata by two hands, marked by a different use of the
two forms of a. Hand A, the main scribe, using almost only double-bow a, copied ff. 1r-21v11;
33r-108v11; 125r-144v. Hand B, who normally writes box-a, copied ff. 21v12-32v; 108v12-
Headings in blue or red ink. The majuscules are heightened in yellow. The decoration consists of
line-fillers in gold and blue and red paint and the following initial types: (1) dentelle initials, 1
line; (2) foliate initials, 2 lines; (3) foliate initials, 4 lines, always accompanied by full acanthus
borders and, except on f. 142r, by a picture in an arched compartment above 5 lines of text. The
borders are framed in gold ink. The remaining pictures represent f. 35r (Hours of Our Lady,
Lauds), Visitation; f. 45r (Prime), Nativity; f. 51r (Terce), Annunciation to the Shepherds; f. 55r
(Sext), Adoration of the Magi; f. 62r (Vespers), Flight into Egypt; f. 71r (Penitential Psalms),
David in penitence; f. 91r (Hours of the Holy Spirit), Pentecost. All ordinary text pages,
including the Calendar, have unframed outer margin borders the height of the text area, with
patterns traced from rectos to versos.
Red velvet binding s. XIX (?) over cardboard boards, on which the original decorated gilt brass
bosses (4 corner pieces and a central piece) and one decorated clasp in the same material, fixed to
the rear cover, have been mounted. Yellow silk pastedowns. Gilt edges.
The complicated quire structure, the use of catchwords and the changes of hands can only be
understood if one assumes that the two sections copied by hand B were inserted in order to
change (and augment?) the text of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin and of the Office of the
Dead copied by hand A. In the first case B starts writing (probably upon erasure) on line 12 of f.
21v, the last leaf of the regular quire IV, continues in quire V, which stands apart for being a
quinio, and ends on f. 32v, a singleton inserted before the regular quire VI, in which the text
continues without a break. The disorder in the rubrics for the Lessons from f. 20r to f. 32r may be
related to this textual change (their succession is IIII, II, III, IIII, V, VI, I, III, IX). In the
second case B starts writing (equally probably upon erasure) on line 12 of f. 108v, now a
singleton but no doubt the remnant of a full quire copied by hand A; B continues in the two
quires XVI and XVII and ends on the latter's last page, f. 124v, in order to link up with the text
written by hand A on the second leaf of quire XVIII; its first leaf was removed. The textual
implications of these changes need closer study. Another strange feature is seen in the lower
margins of the Calendar (art. 1): they all were covered by a text in cursive script which
afterwards has been erased.
Belonged to Louis M. Rabinowitz who purchased it from Rosenbach in 1949. Hannah D.
Rabinowitz (her bookplate on the front pastedown). Donated by her in 1971 in memory of Louis
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 413, no. 10.
H.W. Liebert, "The Beinecke Library: Accessions 1971", Gazette 46 (1972), p.?? 229.
Exhibition Catalogue: W. Cahn and J. Marrow, eds.,
"Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Yale: A Selection,"
Yale University Library Gazette 52 (1978), pp. 223-224, no. 47.