THE MORGAN DISPLAYS ITS SIXTEENTH-CENTURY VAN DAMME HOURS MANUSCRIPT ON THE OCCASION OF ITS LONG-AWAITED FACSIMILE PUBLICATION
The Morgan Library & Museum is currently displaying its sixteenth-century original Van Damme Hours to mark the occasion of the manuscript’s facsimile publication by Munich’s Faksimile Verlag. On view through October 6, 2013, the tiny (2.2 x 2.9 inch) Book of Hours is the creation of scribe Antonius van Damme and illuminator Simon Bening.
The Van Damme Hours has a storied provenance, having passed through no less than ten hands before entering the Morgan’s collection in 1924. Although the identity of the man who commissioned the work is unknown, the compelling history of the manuscript’s first known owner, John Strange (1732–1799), is well documented, as is the manuscript’s subsequent owners. Strange, a British dilettante whose eclectic interests included everything from sea sponges to Venetian paintings, supplied the manuscript with its distinctive detachable silver filigree binding. The binding is displayed alongside the manuscript at the Morgan, and replicated as part of the deluxe edition of the facsimile.