Celebrating Easter

Collection ID





Between 1516 and 1519


Ghent or Bruges, (Belgium)




Ink on Vellum


iv + 38 leaves; 6 3/4 × 4 3/4 × 11/16 in. (17.2 × 12.0 × 1.8 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Based on the coat of arms at the beginning of this small manuscript, it was made for the young Charles V (1500–1558) after he became king of Spain (1516) and shortly before his election as Holy Roman Emperor (1519). The Latin text contains common prayers in simple language written in two easy-to-read humanistic scripts suitable for a younger reader. The illuminations are in the style of Simon Bening (ca. 1483–1561), the Flemish master who shaped artistic tastes in the region surrounding Ghent and Bruges in the sixteenth century. The manuscript contains 36 pages decorated with images that stress self-sacrifice, humility, and devotion to the Catholic sacraments.

Created between 1516 and 1519 for the young Charles V. Perhaps acquired by Cardinal Matthias Schinner (ca. 1465–1522).[1] Acquired before 1586 by the Sieur Jene Cottrell; Gifted in 1586 to Cottrell’s niece “Madame de Lathienloy gouvenante de la ville Bethune” in Artois, an area within the Spanish Netherlands;[2] By marriage and descent in the de la Tramerye family until at least 1653.[3] Acquired by the English merchant banker and bibliophile, Henry Huth (1815–1878);[4] By descent within the family; Purchased in 1917 by Maggs Bros., Ltd; Acquired in 1919 by Colonel Sir William Thomlinson (1854–1943); Purchased in 1938 by Maggs Bros., Ltd. Acquired by the auction house Drouot. Purchased in 1969 by a private collector. Acquired by Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG, Stalden OW, Switzerland; Purchased in 2014 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later the Signatry), under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] The cardinal’s coat of arms appears at the end of the text, off center, suggesting that it was a later addition to the text. Schinner was an influential cardinal who played an important role in the politics of his day, including the election of Charles as Holy Roman Emperor. See Mandell Creighton, A History of the Papacy During the Period of the Reformation: The Italian princes. 1464-1518 (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1887), 117, 127, 142, 209–210, 219. [2] An inscription on the front flyleaf records the gift. [3] An inscription dated 1598 records the relationship between Madame de Lathienloy and the Monsieur de la Tramerye as god parents and grand parents of a girl, Renne, born on July 7. Later inscriptions record further births and deaths in the family down to 1653. François de la Tramerye gouverneur des ville et chateau d’Aire, near St. Omer, Pas-de-Calais wrote an inscription in the manuscript as well. He or perhaps a son of the same name played a role in defending the Spanish Netherlands from Louis XIV in the 1660s. See Johann Theodor de Raadt, Sceaux armoríes des Pays-Bas et des pays avoisinants, v. 4, (Société Belge de Librairie Oscar Schepens et Cie., 1901), 49. [4] His bookplate on the front pastedown.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

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

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