This is the oldest separate Book of Hours in existence at the time of acquisition.

It is profusely illuminated and signed by W. de Brailes, who was the head of a large atelier, possibly situated at Oxford. The drawing and colouring of the 5 full-page miniatures and 88 historiated initials are especially lively, and over half the subjects are unusual, while some are unique. The late Mr C. W. Dyson Perrins was a great collector of manuscripts and was distinguished not only for taste and judgment but as a patron of learning; thanks both to the fine catalogue which he published and to his readiness to put them at the disposal of scholars. His manuscript collection played an important part in the advance of medieval studies during the first half of the 20th century. Mr Perrins himself bequeathed his two principal treasures to the British Library: the Gorleston Psalter and the Khamsah of Nizami. His Executors have enabled the Trustees to purchase six manuscripts from his collection including this one made for an unidentified English Church dedicated to St Lawrence in Italy in the 15th century with contributions from the Art Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and a special grant from HM Treasury.




Exhibitions at British Library

Back to top