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Bible: MS 1056-1975

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Current Location: In storage




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 583 fols., 295 x 210 mm (176 x 121 mm), ruled in plummet and brown ink, two columns, 45 lines, quire signatures, catchwords surrounded by thin line frames, occasional corrections, notes and notation marks in various medieval hands throughout

BINDING: Fifteenth century, perhaps German, reversed calf skin over wooden boards, ornamental metal corner-plates and central boss on upper and lower cover, two brown leather straps with ornamental metal clasp.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-538v Old and New Testaments with prologues; fols. 539r-583v Interpretation of Hebrew Names.

DECORATION: 82 historiated initials [3 – 45 ll.] for main prologue and books (except for Apoc), in pale pink, ivory, blues, grey, grey-green, some orange and occasional gold on blue and pale pink, ivory, grey-green and blue line frames, with column-motifs, stylised foliage and occasional grotesques, restrained foliate stems extending into margins and enclosing grotesques, birds, hybrids and human figures: fol. 1r St Jerome's Prologue, [F, 39 ll.] St Jerome (in Dominican habit) at desk, handing scroll to messenger-boy, Dominican with book and lion attacking an ox in marginal extension of initial; fol. 4r Prologue to Pentateuch, [D, 5 ll.] St Jerome writing; fol. 4v Gen, [I, 45 ll.] Creation scenes with Crucifixion and Agnus Dei surrounded by evangelist symbols below, marginal decoration springing from initial includes two men with swords and shields, two prophets, four busts of suppliant Dominicans and two ducks; fol. 26v Exod, [ H, 10 ll.] Moses addresses the Israelites; fol. 44v Lev, [V, 10 ll.] Moses prays before God speaking from the Tent of Meeting; fol. 56v Num, [L, 32 ll.] God speaking to Moses, horned and nimbed; fol. 74r Deut, [H, 10 ll.] Moses striking rock with staff, Israelites collecting water; fol. 90r Jos, [E, 9 ll.] Death of Moses; fol. 101r Judges, [P, 8 ll.] Death of Joshua; fol. 112v Ruth, [I, 28 ll.] Elimelech, Naomi and their sons travelling to Moab; fol. 114v I Kings, [F, 8 ll.] Elkanah with his wives, blue cockerel in marginal extension to initial; fol. 130r II Kings, [F, 8 ll.] Suicide of Saul; fol. 142r III Kings, [E, 9 ll.] Abishag brought to David; fol. 156v IV Kings, [P, 7 ll.] Ahaziah falling from the tower, a Dominican with book in marginal extension of initial; fol. 171r I Par, [A, 8 ll.] Genealogy of house of David; fol. 184v II Par, [C, 10 ll.] Solomon and two others kneeling at prayer before altar; fol. 200r I Esd, [I, 32 ll.] Cyrus ordering the building of the Temple of Jerusalem; fol. 205r Neh (II Esd), [E, 7 ll.] Nehemiah writing; fol. 211v III Esd, [C, 7 ll.] Nimbed old man pointing into large, deep trough or tomb, young man beside him putting hand into trough; fol. 218r Tob, [T, 8 ll.] Tobit asleep, a swallow and a cat on a roof above; fol. 222v Judith, [A, 8 ll.] Judith beheading Holofernes; fol. 228r Esth, [I, 16 ll.] Esther with Ahasuerus, Queen Vashti mourning below; fol. 234v Job, [V, 8 ll.] Job on the dungheap with his wife and friends; fol. 246r Psalm 1, [B, 12 ll.] God blessing, David harping; fol. 249v Psalm 26, [D, 6 ll.] David pointing to eyes; fol. 251v Psalm 38, [D, 6 ll.] David pointing to mouth; fol. 254r Psalm 52, [D, 6 ll.] Fool; fol. 256v Psalm 68, [S, 6 ll.] David in water praying to God; fol. 259v Psalm 80, [L, 3 ll.] David praying; fol. 262r Psalm 97, [C, 6 ll.] Clerics singing; fol. 265r Psalm 109, [D, 6 ll.] God blessing; fol. 271r Prov, [P, 7 ll.] Solomon instructing Rehoboam; fol. 280v Eccles, [V, 8 ll.] Monk holding up sun-disk instructing a youth; fol. 283v Cant, [O, 7 ll.] Virgin and Child; fol. 285v Wisd, [D, 7 ll.] King holding scales stabbing sword through his shoulder; fol. 292r Ecclus, [O, 7 ll.] Christ handing book to a youth in a grey habit; fol. 310r Isai, [V, 8 ll.] Martyrdom of Isaiah; fol. 329v Prologue to Jer, [I, 14 ll.] Dominican with book; fol. 330r Jer, [V, 7 ll.] Jeremiah's vision of the boiling pot; fol. 353r Lam, [E, 5 ll.] City of Jerusalem; fol. 355v Bar, [E, 5 ll.] Baruch presenting book to Jeconiah; fol. 358v Ezek, [E, 8 ll.] Ezekiel's vision of the four beasts; fol. 379r Dan, [A, 9 ll.] Daniel in the lion's den, above the angel sent to seal lion's jaws; fol. 388r Osea, [V, 8 ll.] Hosea with book; fol. 391r Prologue to Joel, [I, 12 ll.] Dominican with book; fol. 391v Joel, [V, 6 ll.] Joel with scroll, birds at his feet; fol. 393r Amos, [V, 6 ll.] Amos as shepherd with scroll, in field with sheep; fol. 395v Prologue to Abd, [I, 13 ll.] Obadiah with book; fol. 395v Abd, [V, 6 ll.] Three men feasting on fish, one handing bowl to Obadiah; fol. 396r Prologue to Jonah, [I, 10 ll.] Jonah with book; Jonah, [E, 6 ll.] Jonah delivered from the whale; fol. 397r Mich, [V, 6 ll.] Micah preaching to soldiers emerging from city; fol. 399r Nah, [O, 6 ll.] Nahum preaching before Nineveh falling; fol. 400v Hab, [O, 6 ll.] Habakkuk, with flask and pack, taking food to Daniel; fol. 402r Soph, [V, 6 ll.] Zephaniah preaching to lamenting people before gate with fish and snake before it (i.e. Fish Gate in Jerusalem); fol. 403r Agg, [I, 12 ll.] Zerubbabel overseeing two masons rebuilding the Temple; fol. 404r Zach, [I, 14 ll.] Two women holding up a tapered container with a small figure emerging from inside, an angel descending from above (probably vision of the bushel measure); fol. 408r Mal, [O, 6 ll.] Two priests accepting offering of wheat-sheaves from old and young man; fol. 409r I Macc, [E, 6 ll.] Maccabees in battle; fol. 423r II Macc, [F, 9 ll.] Delivery of letter to the Jews of Egypt; fol. 434v Matt, [L, 36 ll.] Tree of Jesse; fol. 448r Mark, [I, 15 ll.] Mark writing, nimbed lion with scroll below, Dominican reading book in marginal extension of initial; fol. 457r Luke, [F, 8 ll.] Luke with scroll, winged nimbed ox above; fol. 471v John, [I, 32 ll.] John with book, nimbed eagle with scroll above; fol. 482v Rom, [P, 8 ll.] Paul with sword handing letter to messenger with staff; fol. 487v I Cor, [P, 6 ll.] Paul handing scroll to boy; fol. 492v II Cor, [P, 6 ll.] Paul lowered from the walls of Damascus; fol. 496r Gal, [P, 6 ll.] Paul conversing with bishops; fol. 498r Eph, [P, 6 ll.] Paul hands letter to messenger; fol. 499v Phil, [P, 8 ll.] Paul in prison; fol. 501r Col, [P, 6 ll.] Paul in prison, hands bound; fol. 502r I Thess, [P, 6 ll.] Paul handing letter to messenger; fol. 503r II Thess, [P, 6 ll.] Paul handing letter to two tonsured figures; fol. 504r I Tim, [P, 6 ll.] Paul with book conversing with bishop with book; fol. 505r II Tim, [P, 5 ll.] Paul in prison handing letter to messenger; Prologue to II Tim, [I, 6 ll.]Dominican with book; fol. 506v Tit. [P, 5 ll.] Paul with sword conversing with bishop; fol. 507r Philemon, [P, 7 ll.] Paul in prison handing letter to messenger; fol. 507v Heb, [M, 8 ll.] Paul with sword speaking to Jews; fol. 511v James, [I, 11 ll.] Christ blessing from balcony, below nimbed figure looks up, three young men before him; fol. 513r I Pet, [P, 7 ll.] Peter handing scroll to messenger [P, 22 ll.]; fol. 514v II Pet, [S, 9 ll.] Peter handing letter to messenger; fol. 515r I John, [Q, 6 ll.] Christ conversing with John, who holds Christ's gown; fol. 516v II John, [S, 6 ll.] John, with book, handing letter to a man and a woman; III John, [S, 5 ll.] John with book, handing letter to messenger; fol. 517r Jude, [I, 15ll.] Jude addressing three figures sharing a meal 'feasting together without fear' (Jude 12); fol. 517v Acts, [P, 8 ll.] Ascension.

ORNAMENTATION: 75 ornamental initials [3 – 9 ll.] for prologues and occasionally for important sections within books, in pale pink, ivory, blue, grey, grey-green and orange on blue, with occasional white foliate pattern on grounds, restrained foliage and column-motifs and limited foliage springing from them; alternate red and blue penwork initials [6 – 15 ll.] with red or pale beige penwork decoration for Apoc and Prologue to Apoc; alternate red and blue penwork initials [2 – 3 ll.] with vertical penwork extensions for chapters, Psalms and sections of Interpretation of Hebrew Names; running headers in blue and red for all books except the Psalms; alternate red and blue one-line penwork initials for Psalm verses and Interpretation of Hebrew Names; red and blue chapter and Psalm numbers; rubricated incipits and explicits (except for Psalms) and start of verses in Cant; red highlighting for verses; catchwords in penwork frames; first line of books in plain penwork uppercase.


History note: Purchased by Johannes Weynrich in 1458, as recorded on fol. 1r: Biblia Johannis Weynrich propria pro xii florinis ungaricalibus empta lviii; Katherina Zelchern, fifteenth-century ownership inscription inside upper cover: Das Buch ist der S. Katherina Zelchern von unsre vater ward; Ferdinand Hoffmann, Lord of Grünphuel and Strechau (1540 – 1607), his bookplate inside upper cover; sale of the Bibliothek Alexander Fürst Dietrichstein, Lucerne, 21-22 November 1933, lot 424; Pierre Hollier Larousse, his bookplate inside lower cover; Henry Davis (1897-1977); his gift 1975.

Place(s) associated

  • Bologna ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1975) by Davis, Henry


13th Century, third quarter
Production date: circa AD 1260

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: sed loquitur dei
  • Type: Second folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 1056-1975
Primary reference Number: 118674
Project ID: 1272
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 5 February 2024 Last processed: Monday 5 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Bible" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-04 13:03:22

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