Government MinistersState Library of South Australia

Offices of the Blessed Virgin

Catalogue record

Creator: Catholic Church

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Format : Manuscript, 418 x 285 x 42 mm

A 15th century complete manuscript on vellum, the Offices of the Blessed Virgin Mary consists of the cycle of daily devotions to be performed by the priests and monks of the religious orders. Text is written in a graceful and very readable humanist hand and in Latin, the language of the Church. Developed in the 15th century, the 'humanist' handwriting style forms the basis of most modern typefaces and printed writing.

This book reveals the use that has been made of it over the years: there are some wormholes and minor repairs, and a number of pages have become stained by frequent use. Most notably the once extremely beautiful opening page with its border of flowers and cherubs, and large historiated initial, has become smeared and made almost unrecognizable by the frequent touching in acts of reverence.

Throughout the book there are rubricated-written in red to distinguish from the rest of the text-initials and some sections of text are also rubricated. There are also many capitals that have been highlighted in gold paint. The volume is bound with wooden boards covered in tooled black leather with metal clasps.

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