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The Syracuse Hours

The Syracuse Hours illuminated manuscript

The Syracuse Hours, or Le Louchier Hours, is a Book of Hours with a date of post-1450. This manuscript of 223 leaves bears a coat of arms that has been identified as belonging to the Le Louchier-De Buillemont family, more specifically to Robert Le Louchier and Anne Croquevilain who were married in 1435. 

This Book of Hours of the Roman rite use consists of a calendar, the Hours, the 7 Penitential Psalms, Litany, suffrages, and miscellaneous prayers. The main text is in Latin with rubrics in French. It is written in Gothic bookhand and appears in a layout of one column of 15 rows of text with rubrics in red and the rest of the text in brown/black ink. Family entries follow the main text which record the births and deaths of the Du Questnoy family, later owners of the manuscript. The manuscript was eventually donated to Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections by John M. Crawford.

The four full-page, richly illuminated miniatures, complete with elaborate borders, have a facing page of text with borders and decorative initials which complement the major composition depicted. Decorative borders and decorative initials on these pages and other pages which consist only of the decorative borders and initials, are characterized by a variety of foliage--acanthus, vines, flowers, strawberries, and the occasional animal--and rich, bold colors--blue, green, pink, orange, yellow, and gold leaf. The illuminations have been identified as characteristics of the Tournai workshop and possibly are the work of the Master of Ghent privileges.

Learn more about the SCRC’s collection of Medieval Manuscripts here.