Schwarzes Stundenbuch

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, MS M.493

Out of the three worldwide still available editions of Black mauscripts is this one the only one with whole-page miniatures.

Created around 1475 in Brügge, this Codex is valued due to its singular and colorful design in Gold, Silver and Blue as a precious rarity.

The Black Hours

Delicate Production

The production of a manuscript on black parchment was extremely costly and delicate. In a first step the parchment was immersed in an iron copper solution to obtain the black colouring, before it was painted.

The immersion in black colour was however, detrimental to the quality of the manuscript in the long rund as the dye made the parchment fragile and brittle.

Additionally, the chapter incipits were highlighted with rubrics written with gold ink. A particular feature are the more than thirty sumptuous initials in gold leaf on an emerald ground which extend over more than one line to divide the text.

The Black Hours

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