Book of Hours

In my ongoing deep-dive into obscure books, today we have the amazing 15th century Codex Rotundus.This medieval book of hour takes its contemporary name from its odd circular format. It was created in Flanders and is written in Latin as well as French.

 

The volume’s dimensions are as unusual as its form: 266 nearly  circular pages of parchment that have been bound together to build a block of 3cm in height with a diameter of 9cm. The pages are lavishly illustrated, including three full-page miniatures and 30 initials depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the life of Jesus and the saints.

 

It’s likely the Codex was made in connection to the court of Burgundy at the end of the 15th century, which was the center of contemporary art and culture. The initials of the metal clasps point us to Adolph of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein (1425 – 1492) as the owner.

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