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Old Testament with glosses: MS McClean 18

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Old Testament with glosses




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i modern parchment flyleaf + 58 fols. + i modern parchment flyleaf, 248 x 180 mm (160 x 110-140 mm), one, two or three columns of varying width accommodating biblical text with or without one or two columns of gloss, 32 lines, ruled in plummet, 17 lines of biblical text written on alternate lines with interlinear glosses, varying number of lines for the marginal glosses, quire marks, catchwords.

BINDING: Nineteenth century, blind-stamped brown leather over wooden boards.

fol. 1v Prologue to Tobit (thirteenth-century addition)
fols. 2r-19v Tobit with interlinear and marginal glosses
fols. 20r-43v Judith with prologue (fol. 20r-v), interlinear and marginal glosses
fols. 43v-58v Esther with prologue (fol. 43r-v), interlinear and marginal glosses

ORNAMENTATION: Red initial [T, 8 ll.] with black geometric motifs for Tobit (fol. 2r); blank spaces left for initials for Judith [A, 12 ll., fol. 20v) and Esther [I, 13 ll., fol. 44r]; alternate red and blue penwork initials [3 ll.] with reserved ornament and arabesque finials for chapters; opening words of Tobit and Judith in alternate red and blue capitals written down the side of the initial; incipits and explicits written in brown ink capitals [2 ll.] with calligraphic ornament.


History note: Bertram, fourth Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878), Ashburnham Appendix, no. VI; purchased from him by Henry Yates Thompson (1838-1928) in May 1897 (bookplate inside upper cover); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 1 May 1899, lot 50 (cutting from sale catalogue inside upper cover); purchased by Frank McClean (1837–1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, third quarter#
Circa 1150 CE - Circa 1175 CE

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: est in escis
  • Location: Fol. 3r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 18
Primary reference Number: 118818
Project ID: 809
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 (2023) "Old Testament with glosses" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-10 00:20:53

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{{cite web|url= |title=Old Testament with glosses |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-10 00:20:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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