Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 49/52
Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, Philadelphia, The Library Company of Philadelphia, MS 5, front cover and fol. 13r (miniature of the Mass of Saint Gregory)
It is well-known that Books of Hours could be used and treasured by multiple generations of readers. This is made clear by the frequent presence of ownership inscriptions from later centuries that are found on blank folios or flyleaves in many examples of the genre. Sometimes, these statements memorialize the names of later owners not merely as straightforward statements of fact, but instead in the form of poetic, occasionally humorous verses. Such inscriptions are quite frequent in Books of Hours found in North American collections, as these volumes usually reached the book trade relatively late, after having been passed down through family ties again and again.