Hour by Hour: Reconstructing a Medieval Breton Prayerbook

Location: 102 Hesburgh Library

On July 5, 2011 a fifteenth-century Book of Hours (private prayer book) was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London. Lot 113 of their Western Manuscripts and Miniatures sale sold for a modest price to an anonymous buyer.  Lot 113 found its way to Germany, where it was cut apart so its leaves could be sold individually—a practice called book breaking. By October, numerous individual leaves from the manuscript were put up for auction on eBay in several countries by a dealer in Leipzig, Germany. Because the purchase of individual leaves encourages book breaking, the Hesburgh Library does not usually buy single leaves. In significant cases, as with Breton manuscripts, exceptions are made—this is one of those cases!

January 21 to August 16, 2013

This exhibit is curated by Dr. David T. Gura (Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, Early Imprints & History of the Book).