Van Damme Hours, written and illuminated in Bruges, Belgium and dated 1531, is named
after its Flemish scribe, Antonius van Damme (active 1495–c. 1545).
Although not a documented work, its superb illuminations are the work of
Simon Bening (1483/84–1561), the last and greatest Flemish illuminator
of the sixteenth century. The manuscript contains all of the stylistic
and iconographic elements that comprise the oeuvre of Bening, including
the charming illustrated calendar images in which he specialized. Van
Damme and Bening had a professional, and surely also a personal,
relationship for fifty years.
The book’s textual contents, which are atypical of a conventional
Book of Hours, provide clues as to its original owner. It
includes a selection of the typical texts found in Books of Hours: a
Calendar, the Hours of the Virgin, the Mass of the Virgin, the Hours of
the Conception of the Virgin, the Penitential Psalms and Litany, and a
series of prayers and Suffrages.The book of hours was purchased by J.
Pierpont Morgan, in 1911.
This facsimile features a reproduction of the
original silver filigree binding. It also replicates the book's original size and
contains all 12 calendar
illustrations and 32 full-page miniatures.