Breviarium for the use of Dominican Nuns
Germany : s.n., ca. 1430
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: LAT 096 B84g
This breviarium was penned in upright Gothic (lettres batardes) with eighteen lines to the page in black, red and blue; including numerous large initials on the finest vellum. Inside, a twelve page calendar is preceded by a circular sun and moon with double circles in gold, silver, red, blue and green. The first page and page 167 are decorated in gold and other colours, with decorative borders and wide margins. The breviarium comprises 536 pages and has its original cover made of brown calf skin over oak boards. The locking clasps on the cover are missing; it is also surrounded by borders that were blind tooled with the words Ave Maria Gratia plena. This is considered to be a very beautiful German MS. in perfect condition, circa 1430.
The breviarium was purchased for the Vancouver Public Library in the 1930s from a retired janitor in Kamloops; it may have been brought to Canada from Germany by a pioneering family.
Photo credit: Kim McCarthy