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Book of hours: MS McClean 66

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii parchment flyleaves + 175 fols. + i parchment flyleaf, 78 x 56 mm (43 x 29 mm), 15 long lines, ruled in brown ink, catchwords.

BINDING: Nineteenth century, black leather over wooden boards, traces of a pair of fastening devices on fore-edge, edges tinted violet, kept in a brown blind-tooled leather case.

fol. 1r–12v Calendar
fols. 13r–94v Hours of the Virgin
fols. 95r–117r Penitential Psalms and Litany
fols. 122v–171v Office of the Dead
fols. 172r–175r Short Hours of the Cross

DECORATION: Five historiated initials in pink or green, with white floral motifs and acanthus extensions on gold grounds for major text divisions: fol. 13r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 10 ll.] Annunciation, with full floral and spraywork border framed within gold bars and containing a lozenge-shaped vignette with a bird and a wreath medallion with space left blank for a coat of arms; fol. 29v Hours of the Virgin for the Advent season, Matins, [I, 15 ll.] Virgin and Child, the full-length figure of the Virgin forming the shaft of the initial, with one-sided floral and spraywork border; fol. 95r Penitential Psalms, [D, 8 ll.] David penitent, with full floral, spraywork and bar border; fol. 122v Office of the Dead, [D, 9 ll.] Skull on grassy background, with full border containing flowers, acanthus, spraywork with gold balls, and gold and blue bars; fol. 172r Short Hours of the Cross, [P, 5 ll.] The Cross and Instruments of the Passion, with two-sided floral, spraywork and acanthus border .

ORNAMENTATION: Pink or green initials [5–8 ll.] with white floral motifs and acanthus extensions on gold grounds, and partial floral and spraywork borders for lesser text divisions; alternate blue and gold initials [1-2 ll.] with red or violet pen flourishing.


History note: Ownership inscription on first flyleaf at front: Francisci de Bassis S.V.B. et S[anc]ti Bartholomei Rigii Pastoris 1665. nunc vero Congreg. S. Caroli. 9; label with the number 83 on upper cover; acquired by Frank McClean (1837–1904) in 1892 in Rome (James 1912a, 135); his bequest 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Ferrara ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1904) by McClean, Frank


15th Century, third quarter#
Production date: circa AD 1470

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [confes]sione et in psalmis
  • Location: Fol. 14r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 66
Primary reference Number: 118787
Project ID: 777
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Book of hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-20 16:09:55

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-20 16:09:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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