Collections’ Highlights

Collection ID





ca. 1450–1460






Ink on Vellum


133 + ii leaves; 11.9 × 8.7 × 2.1 in. (30.3 × 22.2 × 5.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

This 15th century manuscript takes its name from an inscription at the end of the text which says in part, “Off your charite pray for the soules of Symon Rice and Letyce his wyffe . . .” The inscription likely refers to a known 16th century London merchant and his wife. The manuscript contains eight fully historiated initials, each on a page framed with a full floral border. The manuscript most likely was made for liturgical, rather than private use. In the back flyleaves someone in the 16th century kept an account of payments for such things as drinks and spinning.

Created around the mid-15th century, likely London, England. Probably used liturgically in the area of Kidderminster, England, until the 17th century. [1] Acquired by the 17th century by the Davenport family of Bramhal; [2] By descent within the Davenport family until 1877; Privately purchased in 1877 by Henry Huth (1815–1878) until 1878; By descent to Alfred Henry Huth (1850–1910), son, until 1910; Purchased at auction in 1917 by Bernard Quaritch; [3] Purchased at auction in 1931 by Carrie Estelle Doheny (1875–1958), Los Angeles, California until 1958; Gifted between 1940 and 1958 to St. John’s Seminary Camarillo, California until 1987; [4] Sold at auction through Christie’s to a private collector in 1987; Purchased at auction in 2011 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] The antiphons in the book show that the item was intended for liturgical rather than private use. Likewise, the grading of feasts in the calendar indicates that it was used in a secular church or chapel. An inscription written in Latin at the end of the text references a Symon Rice and his wife “Letyce.” This is likely Simon Rice (or Rise) (d. 1530), a merchant in London, and his wife Lettice, both of whom were major contributors to All Saints’ Church in Kidderminster. See Anne F. Sutton, The Mercury of London: Trade, Goods and People, 1130–1578 (Florence: Taylor and Francis, 2005), 539. [2] The book is inscribed with “Jn. Davenport His book” on the back flyleaf and remained in the family until 1877. See The Huth Library: Catalogue of the Famous Library of Printed Books, Illuminated Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, and Engravings Collected by Henry Huth, 1911–1920, IV (London: Dryden Press, 1914), p. 1192. [3] Bernard Quaritch, A Catalogue of Illuminated and Other Manuscripts, 1931; and L. V. Miller, Catalogue of Books & Manuscripts in the Estelle Doheny Collection, (1940), 4. [4] Christie’s, December 12, 1987, Lot 176.

Selected References:

Kathleen Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390–1490 (London: Harvey Miller, 1996).

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Ellie Claire® Gift and Paper Expressions, The Illuminated Psalms Journal (Worthy Publishing Group in association with Museum of the Bible, 2017).

Karen York, ed., The Bible Illuminated (Worthy Publishing Group, 2017).

Jerry A. Pattengale, ed., Museum of the Bible Curriculum (Museum of the Bible and Compedia Software & Hardware Ltd., 2016-2017).

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