The Wardington Hours by Bedford Workshop, Paris

The manuscript contains eight large miniatures which are equal in quality to the very best illumination produced in Paris at this date.


Illuminated manuscript
23.8 x 16.8 cm
Art Fund grant:
£250,000 ( Total: £635,200; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
Private vendor

The Wardington Hours is part of a Book of Hours but only contains the relatively rare Hours of the Passion. The manuscript is exquisitely painted, incorporating intricate detail and a wealth of rich, colourful imagery. Illuminated borders with sparkling gold ivy leaves feature on every page, and include painted dragons with different animal heads in one part of the volume. The most lavish contributions to the volume are eight beautifully painted illustrations of the Passion of Christ. The miniature of the Crucifixion is unusual in containing the Seven Last Words of Christ, also found in the Crucifixion miniature in the Bedford Hours, which is already in the British Library collection. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


de Courgy family, Paris, in 18th century; Henry Pomeroy (died 1829); by descent to Paravicini family; Christie's, 1953; Bernard Quaritch; Dudley M Colman; Sotheby's, 1958; Marlborough Rare Books; Lord Wardington; Sotheby's, 2006.

Venue details

British Library 96 Euston Road, LONDON London NW1 2DB 01937 546546

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