William Hastings’ Book of Hours

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The books of hours are the greatest representation of works written in the Late Middle Ages.

Several renowned scholars have attributed authorship of the iconic works to different illuminators. This wide range of opinions is due to the beauty and exquisite workmanship of the borders and miniatures, which can be linked to works by various famous artists.

A coat of arms allows us to identify an excellent miniature. It is William Hastings (1430-1483), a noble landowner who served at the House of York and who was the confidant of Edward IV. Upon the King’s death, Hastings was condemned to death and beheaded at the Tower of London in 1483.

The work is structured according to the prayer customs practised in the isolated world, according to liturgical usage established in the diocese of Salisbury in place of Roman, Gallican, Dominican, etc. styles. Furthermore, there is a small section in English even though French was the language used at court at the time.

All these details confirm that the creation of the book of hours required long months of work and potentially the assistance of a group made up of members from both sides of the English Channel.

In short, we are moved by the manuscript because of the tragic fate of its original owner, the enigma surrounding its authors and, above all, the beauty and exquisite taste of the copy.

14th century original stored at the Lázaro Galdiano Library.

Catalog number IB 15503.

Page format: 124 x 90 mm.

600 pages with 70 full-page miniatures and floral sketches.

Gothic lettering.

On special aged parchment paper.

Collected, folded and hand-sewn.

Bound in garnet red velvet on board with gold fittings.

Historical, artistic and paleographic study volume.

Presented in an elegant case.

Single print run of 995 copies, numbered and authenticated in a notarized document.