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Plaques: M.37-1904

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Object information

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Maker: Unknown




Plaques on the cover of the Hours of the Virgin (MS. McClean 75) On the front and back cover, there is a mandorla-shaped plaque surrounded by four narrow rectangular plaques forming a wide border. This is divided by a band of zig-zag, with busts of angels or animals in the spandrels. The plaque has reserved in the metal a beardless saint.

Copper plaques decorated with champlevé enamelling in blue, turquoise, green, yellow and dark red enamels, and gilded. Four of the plaques form a rectangular border. The top and bottom plaques are each decorated with a dark red zig-zag line forming six and a half triangular compartments. On the top plaque three are occupied by gold busts of angels reserved in a blue ground, and three on the bottom plaque by two gold birds and a quadruped with a bushy tail reserved in a blue ground. The other compartments are filled with a diaper pattern of gold quatrefoils reserved in a blue ground.. The two side plaques are both decorated in the same way, with two dark red zig-zag lines forming five square compartments placed corner to corner vertically. Each contains a plant motif with four serrated leaves around a red centre. The triangular spaces are filled with gold quatrefoils reserved in a blue ground. In the middle there is a separate mandorla-shaped plaque kept in position by four studs. It is decorated with a gold standing figure of a saint with a green and yellow halo, reserved in a blue ground with on each side two turquoise horizontal bands and three circular motifs with wavy edges. The central motif on each side is larger than the others and has a red centre surrounded by concentric bands of green and yellow. The top and bottom motifs have red centres surrounded by concentric bands of blue and pale blue. The edge of the plaque is gilded.


History note: Catalogue of the Valuable Library of printed books and Fine Illuminated and other manuscripts of the late Edward Quaile Collection; sold Sotheby's, 10 May 1901 lot 73; Frank McClean (1837-1904) by whom bequeathed

Legal notes

Frank McClean bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 18.1 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


13th Century
Circa 1200 CE - 1300 CE

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, turquoise, green, yellow, red, white) gold

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.37-1904
Primary reference Number: 156423
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Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 31 May 2022 Last processed: Monday 25 July 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Plaques" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-10 06:13:07

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