A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Canon. Liturg. 219

Summary Catalogue no.: 19331


Book of Hours, Use of Rome
Language(s): Latin and Italian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Good borders.

Good historiated initials. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 909)


15th century, end, Italian (as MS.): wood boards with slight inside bevel; dark brown hard polished leather, cuir ciselé, incised with a full-standing ‘plague saint’ within a leafy border on each cover, all in relief on a stippled background – (front) St. Sebastian, pierced with arrows, and (back) St. Roch, holding a staff and displaying the sore on his thigh to a smaller figure; spine with similar leafy decoration; traces of a lost central clasp, once with small squarish fittings and a broad strap; gilt edges, not gauffered; endbands oversewn diagonally in red and green thread. Paste-downs (not flyleaves) of red ‘Dutch gilt paper’ embossed with hunting scenes, added in Italy, late 17th or 18th century (cf. MS. Canon. Liturg. 136). A miniature book, 77 × 55 × c. 45–47 mm. (book closed).

Perhaps partly intended as an amulet against the plague and other perils. It ends with prayers for protection against both plague and shipwreck, also invoking St. Christopher for a male owner.


Origin: 15th century, end ; Italian, North-east

Record Sources

Summary description abbreviated from the Summary Catalogue (1897). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1970). Binding: B. C. Barker-Benfield, Bookbindings of Canonici manuscripts : a survey of early and non-standard bindings, mostly Italian, in the Canonici collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (Oxford, privately printed, 2020).


    Printed descriptions:

    Tammaro de Marinis, La legatura artistica in Italia nei secoli XV e XVI, 3 vols., Florence 1960, II no. 1474E (under Venice).
    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 4: Books of Hours (typescript, 1957), p. 236

Last Substantive Revision

2020-08-20: Binding description added.