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About this Item


  • Book of Hours.


  • This small Book of Hours, made for use in the diocese of Cambrai in French Flanders around 1300-10, is especially interesting for its profusion of humorous drolleries. Humans, animals, and hybrids are featured in the margins of each page of the book. Small scenes record a variety of activities, such as cooking, playing games, climbing, fishing, making music, and dancing. Heiner Gillmeister has argued that two of these scenes depict the earliest known images of tennis being played (folios 70 and 193 rectos). There is a notable illuminated initial "D" with the Resurrection on folio 100 verso. Drolleries include a woman leading a horse drawing a harrow (12 recto); a man and woman baking (14 verso); monkeys singing (52 verso); and monkeys playing chess (186 recto). These drolleries amused the faithful during their prayers, while showing scenes that work as metaphors for the soul fighting against the vices. The original female owner seems to have been established in the diocese of Cambrai, judging from the use of the Office of the Dead. A number of signatures on the leaves at the beginning and end of the manuscript provide the book with a rich provenance. A priest in the 16th century wrote a message in code on folio 1 verso asking that the book be returned to him if lost. Members of the ducal house of Savoy owned this book in the 17th century, as evinced by the gilt armorial shield of Charles Emmanuel II (1634-75), duke of Savoy, stamped on the covers.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1300 to 1310]


  • -  France--Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • -  1300 to 1310
  • -  Bible. New Testament
  • -  Bible. Old Testament
  • -  Books of hours
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Prayers
  • -  Psalms


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Walters Ms. W.88"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 202 folios : parchment ; 10.8 x 7.4 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Walters Art Museum.
  • -  Content in French and Latin.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021668195

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1310, 1300] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(1300) Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1310] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Book of Hours. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1310, 1300] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.