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

MS. Douce 80

Summary Catalogue no.: 21654


Book of Hours, Use of Paris
Language(s): Latin and Middle French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Fine miniatures, historiated borders, initials. By the Boucicaut and Bedford Masters. The calendar and most of the borders completed, 15th century, second half. Pächt and Alexander i. 643, pl. L:

Half-page miniatures:

  • Fol. 18r: Christ Carrying the Cross (Passion according to John).
  • Fol. 36r: Annunciation (Hours of the Virgin, Matins).
  • Fol. 72r: Nativity (Hours of the Virgin, Prime).
  • Fol. 78v: Annunciation to the Shepherds (Hours of the Virgin, Terce).
  • Fol. 101r: David in Prayer, David's face worn (Penitential Psalms).
  • Fol. 127r: Pentecost (Hours of the Holy Ghost, Matins).
  • Fol. 134r: Funeral Mass (Office of the Dead).
  • Fol. 185v: Enthroned Virgin and Child (Fifteen Joys of the Virgin).
  • Fol. 192r: Last Judgement (Seven Requests).
  • Fol. 196r: Virgin and Child with portrait of a female donor (?) (Prayer to the Virgin).

Roundels: labours of the month and zodiac in the calendar:

  • January: Feasting (fol. 1r), Aquarius (fol. 1v).
  • February: Keeping Warm (fol. 2r), Pisces (fol. 2v).
  • March: Pruning (fol. 3r), Aries (fol. 3v).
  • April: Picking Flowers (fol. 4r), Taurus (fol. 4v).
  • May: Hawking (fol. 5r), Gemini (fol. 5v).
  • June: Mowing (fol. 6r), Cancer (fol. 6v).
  • July: Reaping (fol. 7r), Leo (fol. 7v).
  • August: Threshing (fol. 8r), Virgo (fol. 8v).
  • September: Treading Grapes (fol. 9r), Libra (fol. 9v).
  • October: Sowing (fol. 10r), Scorpio (fol. 10v).
  • November: Thrashing for Acorns (fol. 10b, recto), Sagittarius (fol. 10b, verso).
  • December: Slaughtering a Pig (fol. 11r, lower margin), Capricorn (fol. 11r, right-hand margin).
  • Fol. 11v: roundels of John the Evangelist with an eagle and palm (left-hand margin); Nativity, with Mary and Joseph kneeling before the Christ Child, an ox and ass in the background (lower margin).

Borders, historiated:

  • Fol. 18r: Five angels carrying the Instruments of the Passion; two birds, a goldfinch and a crane (Passion according to John).
  • Fol. 101r: Jewelled frame for miniature and border. Figures hunting, dancing and playing musical instruments (Penitential Psalms).

Borders, other: full borders with foliate design, gold spray and drolleries. The borders often appear to have been copied through the parchment, resulting in a reverse of the recto design found on the verso.

Decorated initials: four-, three-, two- and one-line initials in red and blue, enclosing foliage, on a gold ground. Two-line KL monograms in the Calendar, formed from acanthus leaves and small flowers and painted in grisaille.

Chrysography: two lines, heading the Gospel of John pericope, on Fol. 12r.

Line fillers: patterns, mostly floral, on a gold background.


Origin: 15th century, beginning and 15th century, second half ; French

Provenance and Acquisition

Francis Douce, 1757–1834

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834

Record Sources

Summary description abbreviated from the Summary Catalogue (1897). Localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1966). Description of decoration by Ella Letort, March 2020.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (24 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-03: Detailed description of decoration added by Ella Letort.