MS Pryce C1: Personal Devotion

Dublin Core


MS Pryce C1: Personal Devotion


This particular Book of Hours was likely used for private devotional practice and worship within the confines of its owner's home. While there are no identifying marks or clear indications of the book's original owner, the book's contents suggest some intimate personal use and preferences.

One such indication is found in the thematic concordances in the marginal art of folios 29r and 48r. The first contains a full-page illumination of the Annunciation that opens the Hours of the Blessed Virgin. The second is mostly text and marks the beginning of Lauds in the daily office of prayer. Both pages are unique for their marginal illustrations, which demonstrate a prioritization of familial scenes from Mary's life. Both contain small images of Mary's parents, St. Anna and Joachim, embracing at the Golden Gate. Fol. 48r also shows a small scene of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, while fol. 29r shows scenes of Mary spinning at the temple, and the wedding of Mary and Joseph.

While the book is remarkably well-preserved and shows little signs of wear, the roundel depicting the marriage of the virgin is significantly worn. Mary's face has been almost entirely rubbed off, yet the facial features of those surrounding her are still clear. This detail, although minute, may indicate an intimate ritual of personal devotion, both a spiritual and physical interaction between book and reader.


MS Pryce C1


Spencer Research Library Special Collections, University of Kansas


c. 1460-1470s


233 mm x 160 mm


Book of Hours


Spencer Research Library Special Collections, MS Pryce C1, fols. 29r, 40r, 29r (detail)

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

ink on vellum, Book of Hours

Physical Dimensions

235 x 162 mm


Lauds, Hours of the Blessed Virgin, fol. 48r
29r (detail).jpg


“MS Pryce C1: Personal Devotion,” Books of Hours: The Art of Devotion, accessed January 28, 2021, /items/show/2.