Simon Vostre - Book of Hours, about 1514

Simon Vostre (died 1521, Paris)

Book of Hours of Rome [Les presentes heures a lusaige de Rome], about 1514

Ink on vellum, 18.7 x 11.5 cm (7 3/8 x 4 1/2 in.)


Object details

Accession number


Object Case

Mary Queen Of Scots Case



Publication Place


Binding Description

Original brown calf binding, monastic style ; on the sides, a scroll band, double at the sides, the central panel filled with columns of rosettes separated by double fillets ; back repaired ; gilt edges (French, 16th century)


I Vol. (140 leaves) : vellum : ill. ; 18.7 x 11.5 cm (octavo)


Probably in the collection of Catherine de’ Medici, Queen of France (1519-1589).
Probably by descent to the Francois II, King of France (1544-1560).
Probably a gift from Francois II to Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587).
Gift from Mary Queen of Scots to the Louis de Lorraine, Cardinal of Guise (1527-1578), probably about 1860.
Collection of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Vice Grand Elector (1754-1838).
Purchased by the Alexander William Crawford, Twenty-fifth Earl of Crawford (1812-1880), possibly from a convent in Belgium.
By descent to the astronomer James Ludovic Lindsay, Twenty-sixth Earl of Crawford (1847–1913), probably 1880.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the Crawford library sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge through the bookseller and publisher Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899), London and the scholar and critic Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908) for £225 on 22 June 1887, lot 1272.


Inscribed in ink (verso of front flyleaf, upper center): "A mon oncle. Marie R, Loye de Lorraine"
Inscribed in ink (verso of front flyleaf, lower center): "Cachet du Prince Talleyrand Vice Grand Electeur"
Stamped (verso of front flyleaf, lower left): Le Vice Grand Electeur' encircling a crowned French imperial eagle [Talleyrand's book stamp]
Inscribed in ink (f. B4r): "La Reine"
Inscribed (various pages): "Catherine" and "Francois"
Enclosed: paper strip, inscribed in pencil: "1514"
Enclosed: photocopy of typed bibliographic description


Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge. Catalogue of the Library of the Right Hon. the Earl of Crawford, First Portion... (London, 13-18, 20, 22-24 June 1887), pp. 141, xiii, lot 1272.
Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Books from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1906), p. 37.
Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Manuscripts and Bookbindings from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1922), p. 67.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 250.
Morris Carter. Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court, 3rd rev. ed. (Boston, 1972), p. 100.
Virginia Reinburg in Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al. Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Newton: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; Cambridge: Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2016), pp. 55, 18-19, 297, 303, 307, ill.

Rights and reproductions

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review Rights and Reproductions for details.


The Book of Hours is a Christian devotional book that was popular in the Middle Ages. It is one of the most common surviving illuminated manuscripts. This Book of Hours was particularly significant to Isabella Stewart Gardner. Its provenance has been traced back to Mary, Queen of Scots, who Gardner erroneously claimed as one of her ancestors. 


Jean Meschinot

Glasses of Princes