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Bible: MS McClean 14

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 544 fols. + vi parchment flyleaves + i paper flyleaf, 135 x 86 mm (94 x 59 mm), two columns, 49 lines, ruled in plummet, written below top line, running headers, catchwords, traces of quire and leaf signatures, Roman numerals in brown ink in lower margins as guides for chapter numbers

BINDING: sixteenth century, brown leather over oak boards, sewn on six double supports, blind stamped with rosettes, traces of two pairs of fastening devices on upper and lower covers, two holes from pins at centre of lower cover, gilt edges, repaired and rebacked

SECUNDO FOLIO: (hodie po)tant senosse

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fols. 1r-498v Old and New Testaments with Prologues
fols. 499r-543r Interpretation of Hebrew Names
fols. 543v-544v Ferial Office with hymns (ends imperfectly, late thirteenth-century addition)

Thirteen historiated initials in pink and blue, ornamented in white, containing foliate motifs and occasional animal heads and dragons in pink, red, green and yellow, outlined in black, some with extensions as bar borders: fol. 1r General Prologue, [F, 8 ll.] St Jerome writing; fol. 4r Gen, [I, 60 ll.] Seven diamond-shaped scenes of the Days of Creation, including the Creation of Eve, terminating at the top and bottom with interlaced vines (the fifth and sixth scenes excised); fol. 102r I Kings, [F, 7 ll.] Hannah kneeling in prayer, Elkanah speaking to Eli at altar; fol. 152v I Par, [N, 8 ll.] Genealogy of Adam as seated figures; fol. 221v Ps 1, [B, 8 ll.] David playing fiddle, harp on ground; fol. 247r Prov, [P, 7 ll.] Solomon instructing Rehoboam (tonsured); fol. 283v Isai, [V, 7 ll.] Martyrdom of Isaiah; fol. 359r Osea, [V, 7 ll.] God appearing to Hosea and Gomer; fol. 378v I Macc, [E, 7 ll.] Soldiers besieging city; fol. 400r Matt, [L, 7 ll.] Tree of Jesse; fol. 444v Rom, [P, 7 ll.] St Paul seated with sword; fol. 472v Acts, [P, 7 ll.] Ascension of Christ with Virgin Mary; fol. 492v Apoc, [A, 7 ll.] St John on Patmos writing, towers of the seven churches behind.

Pink and blue initial [I, 35 ll.] ornamented in white and outlined in black, with foliate motifs, a mask in the centre and a dragon with protruding tongue at the top for prologue to Proverbs (fol. 247r); red and blue parted initials [3-14 ll.] filled or flourished with red and blue floral and foliate motifs, ‘saw-tooth’ ornament, and occasional eagles (e.g. fol. 367v) or dragons (fol. 258v) for other prologues, books, psalms and major subdivisions of the Interpretation of Hebrew Names; alternate red and blue initials [2 ll.] with blue or red pen flourishing respectively for lesser divisions of the Interpretation of Hebrew Names; alternate one-line red and blue capitals for running headers; alternate one-line red and blue Roman numerals for chapters; one-line red initials for added Ferial Office (fols. 543v-544v); capitals highlighted in red; running headers in alternate blue and red capitals (except for Psalms); red heraldic lion in lower margin (fol. 330v).


History note: Purchased from Leo Olschki by Frank McClean (1836-1904); his bequest, 1904.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Frank McClean

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ North ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


13th Century, first half
Circa 1230 CE - Circa 1250 CE


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production

Iron gall ink

Components of the work

Supoprt composed of parchment
Page Height 135 mm Width 86 mm
Text Height 94 mm Width 59 mm

Techniques used in production

Egg tempura

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: tant senosse
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 14
Primary reference Number: 118791
Project ID: 813
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 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) "Bible" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-24 10:31:31

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bible |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-24 10:31:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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