Loftie Hours


This mid-15th-century illuminated book of hours is written entirely in Dutch on fine parchment and is remarkable for its 18 grisaille miniatures. This technique, wherein the figures are modeled primarily in a gray wash, became a favorite in the Netherlands. The hand behind the miniatures in this manuscript has been identified with one of a group of artists known as the Masters of the Delft Grisailles. The manuscript has been grouped with more than a dozen related works, including New York, Morgan Library Ms. M.349; London, Victoria and Albert, George Reid Ms. 32; Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, Collectie Bibliotheca Publica Latina, BPL Ms. 224; Brussels, Bibliothèque Royal, BR Ms. 21696; Antwerp, Plantin Moretus, Ms. 49; and The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB Ms. 74 G 35. The manuscript is comprised of 152 folios and is almost completely intact, lacking only two miniatures. It retains its original brown-leather binding decorated with mythological beasts and a now-illegible inscription. The calendar is for the use of Utrecht, which helps localize its original ownership, as might a mostly erased ownership inscription that has been partially recovered. Good impressions of two circular pilgrim badges, now removed, are visible on folio 112 verso. The work is known as the Loftie Hours, after a previous owner, the Reverend W. J. Loftie (1839-1911).

Last updated: October 17, 2017