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

MSS. Douce 219-20

Summary Catalogue no.: 21793

Summary Catalogue no.: 21794

Book of Hours, Dominican Use ('The Hours of Engelbert of Nassau')


Book of Hours (Dominican)

For the contents of each volume, see below.

Language(s): Latin and Middle French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: iii + 293 (i.e. iii + 159 + iii + iii + 125 + iii)
Dimensions (leaf): 137 × 95 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 60 × 42 mm.


According to Lieftinck 43-4:

MS Douce 219: 1(8-1, first leaf wanting) (fols. 1-7), 2(6)-3(6) (fols. 8-19), 4(8) (fols. 20-7), 5(6-1?, last wanting?) (fols. 28-32), 6(8) (fols. 33-40), 7(4) (fols. 41-4), 8(8)-13(8) (fols. 45-92), 14(4) (fosl. 93-6), 15(8-1, +1, fol. 97 with miniature replacing the original first leaf) (fols. 97-104), 16(8) (fols. 105-112), 17(8+1, fol. 114 with miniature added after 1) (fols. 113-121), 18(8)-19(8) (fols. 122-137), 20(8+1, fol. 145 with miniature added before 8) (fols. 138-46), 21(8+1?, fol. 152 with miniature added after 5?). The last folios of MS. Douce 219 (fols. 156-8, 159a/158bis) and the opening folios of MS. Douce 220 (fols. 160d, 160[e], 161-4) were originally a quire of 8 divided in the 18th-century rebind, with fol. 159a inserted after 3 and fol. 160d with miniature inserted before 4.

MS. Douce 220: 1(see above) (fols. 160d, 160e, 161-4), 2(8+1, fol. 170 with miniature inserted after 5) (fols. 165-73), 3(8-1, 8 wanting) (fols. 174-80), 4(8+1, fol. 181 with miniature inserted at the beginning of the quire) (fols. 181-9), 5(8)-6(8) (fols. 190-205), 7(8-1, 8 wanting), 8(8)-13(8) (fols. 213-60), 14(4) (fols. 261-4).


14 long lines


Lettre bâtarde attributable to Nicolaus Spierinc


The decoration comprises full-page and half-page miniatures and bas-de-page scenes attributed in earlier scholarship to the so-called Master of Mary of Burgundy, first identified by Friedrich Winkler and subsequently studied in further detail by Otto Pacht (1948). Many works associated with this figure have subsequently been reattributed, and the present manuscript is now ascribed to the 'Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy' (on whom see Kren and McKendrick), whose principal other work is the Vienna Hours of Mary of Burgundy (ÖNB Cod. 1857). As usual the full-page miniatures are painted on single leaves tipped in to the book. Borders are in two main styles, first of floral and foliate motifs with birds, and second trompe-l'oeil 'scatter' borders on pages with miniatures and on some facing pages. These were painted over the earlier borders, after the miniatures had been completed (as was shown by Backhouse 1973), but presumably for Englebert of Nassau since they include his motto and his initial letter 'e'.

Important miniatures; see below for details.

Borders of acanthus, fruits and birds, in two styles, changing at fols. 76v-77r.

Later trompe-l'oeil 'scatter' borders on several pages and openings, painted over the earlier borders except on fols. 16v, 181v-182r (Alexander, pp. 13-14).

Bas-de-page scenes of hawking and a tournament intermittently on fols. 47-68v and 91v-159r


Cadels, added after the writing of the main text (Alexander, pp. 9-10).


Dark green morocco with gold tooling by Nicolas-Denis Derome (Derome le Jeune) with the arms of Paris Le Meyzieu (about A.D. 1770-75)


Origin: c. 1475-85 ; Flemish, Ghent (first phase of production perhaps mid-1470s, illusionistic borders added early 1480s; see Kren and McKendrick)

Provenance and Acquisition

Owned at an early date by Engelbert of Nassau (1451-1504); his motto, 'Ce sera moy', fol. 214r. His arms (azure billety or overall a lion rampant or, quartering gules a fess argent), fols. 194r, 198v, 200r, later overpainted (Alexander, pp. 7-8). Scholars have disagreed about whether Engelbert was the original owner (see Kren and McKendrick, and Anne H. van Buren, 'The Master of Mary of Burgundy and His Colleagues: The State of Research and Questions of Method', Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 38. Bd., H. 3/4 (1975), 286-309 at 288). Evidence that may point to a different original owner includes small coats of arms on the collars of hounds on fols. 50r, 53r, 56r, and the letters 'GG' on fols. 151v, 158v.

Philip the Fair, 1478-1506, Duke of Burgundy: see above; arms, fols. 19v, 36r, 42v, 74r, 132r, 132v, 133r, 263r, etc.

'De la bibliotheque de Charles Adrien Picard, 1767'; his sale, 1780, lot. 37, described as 'de form quarré, relié en bois, couverte de velours verd'

Rebound in two volumes for a member of the Paris le Meyzieu family (above, Binding); in the Paris sale (1791) no. 15.

Sold to the Henry Pelham-Clinton, second Duke of Newcastle, 1720-1794 for £110 5s.

Thomas Edwards of Halifax, bookseller: his sale, 15 May 1828, lot. 817; bought by Triphook for £70, probably on behalf of Douce.

Francis Douce, 1757–1834; acquired May 1828.

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834

MS. Douce 219


(fols. 1v-13r; 13v blank)
Calendar, a saint for each day
Language(s): Middle French
(fols. 14r-16r)
Incipit: Salve sancta facies
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 16v-32v)

Prayers to the Virgin:

(fols. 16v-19v)
Incipit: Excellentissima et gloriosissima
(fols. 20r-25v)
Incipit: Obsecro te
(fols. 26r-32r; 32v blank)
Incipit: O intemerata
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 33r-42v; 43r-44v blank)
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 45v-97r; 97v blank)
Office of the Passion
Incipit: Regem Christum crucifixum
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 98r-158v)
Office of the Virgin to vespers.
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: iii + 159 + iii
Foliation: i-iii, 1-158, 158bis (formerly 159a), 159b-d [?]


  • (fol. 14r) Veronica and the Holy Face
  • (fol. 16v) Virgin and Child; border of pilgrim badges
  • (fol. 33r) Martyrdom of St Sebastian
  • (fol. 36v) St Antony
  • (fol. 38r) St Christopher
  • (fol. 40r) St Katherine
  • (fol. 41r) St Barbara
  • (fol. 45r) Agony in the Garden
  • (fol. 56v) Arrest and Betrayal
  • (fol. 63v) Christ before Pilate
  • (fol. 69r) Christ crowned with thorns presented to the people by Pilate
  • (fol. 74v) Christ nailed to the Cross
  • (fol. 79v) Crucifixion
  • (fol. 84v) Deposition
  • (fol. 92r) Entombment
  • (fol. 97v) Annunciation
  • (fol. 98r) The Virgin travelling to Elizabeth
  • (fol. 114v) Visitation
  • (fol. 115r) Joseph and the Virgin refused shelter
  • (fol. 133r) Nativity
  • (fol. 139r) Circumcision
  • (fol. 145v) Adoration of the Magi
  • (fol. 146r) Journey home (?) of the Magi
  • (fol. 152v) Presentation in the Temple
  • (fol. 153r) St Joseph warned by an angel of the massacre of the innocents
For further details of the iconography see Alexander.

MS. Douce 220


(fol. 160r-180v; fol. 181r-v blank)
Vespers and compline of the Lady office
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 182r-213v)
(fol. 182r-203v)
Penitential Psalms
(fols. 203v-212v; 213r-v blank)
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 214r-263r; 263v-264r blank)
Office of the dead with one nocturn
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 265r-282v)
Gradual Psalms
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 283r-v)
Prayer to the Virgin
Incipit: O glorieuse vierge Marie ie te salue o tresdigne mere de dieu
Language(s): Middle French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: iii (160a-c) + 125 (160d, 160-283) + iii (284-6)
Foliation: 160a-160c, 160d, 160-286


  • (fol. 160(d) verso) Flight into Egypt (miracle of the ripening corn)
  • (fol. 160r) Flight into Egypt
  • (fol. 170v) Death of the Virgin
  • (fol. 171r) Coronation of the Virgin
  • (fol. 181v) Last Judgement
  • (fol. 182r) David saving his flock from a bear
  • (fol. 184r) David fighting a lion
  • (fol. 186v) David and Goliath
  • (fol. 190v) David returns with Goliath's head
  • (fol. 194r) David playing the harp, with two ladies
  • (fol. 198v) David, Abishai, and Saul
  • (fol. 199v) David in prayer, with an angel
  • (fol. 214r) Funeral service
For further details of the iconography see Alexander.

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (April 2022) from the following sources, with additional reference to published literature as cited. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.
S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 4: Books of Hours (typescript, 1957), p. 21 [contents, physical description]
The Douce Legacy (exh. cat., 1984), no. 230 [provenance]


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Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile) [MS. Douce 219]
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile) [MS. Douce 220]
Digital Bodleian (64 images from 35mm slides) [MS. Douce 219]
Digital Bodleian (18 images from 35mm slides) [MS. Douce 220]


    Main printed descriptions:

    Illuminating the Renaissance: the triumph of Flemish manuscript painting in Europe [exh. cat.], ed. Thomas Kren and Scott McKendrick (2003), cat. 18
    Janet Backhouse, 'The hours of Englebert of Nassau', The Burlington magazine 115 (1973), 684-685
    The master of Mary of Burgundy : a book of hours for Engelbert of Nassau, ed. J. J. G. Alexander (1970)
    G. I. Lieftinck, Boekverluchters uit de omgeving van Maria von Bourgondië. c. 1475-c. 1485 (1969), 39-76
    Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, I (1966), no. 361, pl. XXIX

Last Substantive Revision

2022-04-06: Matthew Holford: description revised for publication on Digital Bodleian.