MS Pryce C1: Movement in the Margins

Dublin Core


MS Pryce C1: Movement in the Margins


Marginal borders were a central feature of Books of Hours and they offered some of the greatest opportunities for artistic invention and innovation. Borders could serve as entertainment, but they could also carry liturgical messages and devotional instruction. This Book of Hours is adorned with vignettes, flowers, fruit, birds, insects, and drolleries. Such marginal designs evoked both religious and secular motifs. For instance, flowers were often used for marital celebrations as well as to honor the dead. Furthermore, they evoked biblical imagery relating back to the Garden of Eden. Animals were often incorporated into medieval illustrations to evoke the art of hunting, a popular pastime for those belonging to the nobility. In this manuscript, secular drolleries can be seen on both the Annunciation page and the David in Prayer page. As Books of Hours evolved over time and became more accessible via printing, the public became more inclined to favor a mixture of secular and religious marginal imagery as the two printed books in our exhibition will show.


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. 83r (detail), 29r (detail), 13r (detail)


83r (detail).jpg
29r (detail B).jpg
13r (detail).jpg


“MS Pryce C1: Movement in the Margins,” Books of Hours: The Art of Devotion, accessed January 28, 2021, /items/show/20.