German Prayer Book

[ANON.], Book of Prayers in German

Germany (Rhineland, possibly Cologne), after 1461.


£ 25,000


Illuminated manuscript on vellum. Small 8vo., 9.8 x 7.4 cm. (writing-space 6.5 x 4.3 cm.); 197 leaves (5 blanks), fols. [i–xvi]8, [xvii]7 (of 8: fol. [xvii]2 lost or cancelled), [xviii]–[xxiii]8, [xxiv]6 (of 8: 2 blanks cancelled at end), [xxv]8; two flyleaves cut from a thirteenth-century manuscript. 13 lines to a page, written in dark brown ink in a German cursive book hand; rubrics in dark red, capitals touched in red, flourished initials in red and blue sometimes with contrasting penwork; five large illuminated initials with floral borders, 8 lines high on fol. 1 (somewhat rubbed), 3 lines high on fol. 5, and 4 lines high on fols. 16 (with a parrot in border), 121 (with a peacock in border) and 147 (with deer in border); scrolling borders, in the Rhineland style of the Göttingen Model Book. Four vellum navigation-tabs. Extremities of some borders cropped, worn and rubbed especially towards beginning, bound in modern vellum over wooden boards with metal fittings and corner-pieces in a fifteenth-century style.


This book includes prayers to St. Catherine of Siena (canonised in 1461), an office for the Three Kings whose relics were in Cologne; and prayers on the Eternal Wisdom, the Passion, the Holy Sacraments, the Trinity, the Virgin, and St. Francis; prayers ascribed to Saints Bridget, Jerome and Bernard; collects for the canonical hours and offers of indulgences.