Skip to main content

Miscellany (verse and prose): MS 20

An image of Miscellany

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Miscellany (verse and prose)


Artist: Ghent Master




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + i contemporary parchment flyleaf + 166 fols. + iii paper flyleaves, 290 x 211 (210 x 151) mm, ruled in plummet, 2 columns, 36 verse lines or 39 long lines, quire and leaf signatures mostly trimmed, catchwords.

BINDING: 18th century, gold-tooled red morocco over pasteboards.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 8v Histoire de saint Phanuel (verse); fols. 9r – 42r Histoire de Marie et de Jesus (verse); fols. 42r – 44v Assomption Nostre Dame (verse); fols. 44v – 45v Histoire des trois Maries; fols. 45v – 73r Guillaume le Clerc, Bestiare divin (verse); fols. 73r – 74v Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, first extract; fols. 74v – 123r Somme le Roi; fols. 123r – 143r Honorius Augustodunensis, Lucidaire; fols. 143r – 153r Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, second extract with Bestiary; fols. 153r – 156v Prester John’s letter; fols. 156v – 160v Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, third extract on divisions of the earth; fols. 160v – 162r Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, fourth extract on vertu maiement deseurte; fols. 162r – 166r Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, fifth extract on pourveance.

DECORATION: Thirty-three framed column miniatures [8 – 10 ll.] on diapered or punched gold grounds with short sprays of gold ivy leaf extending from frames and, at major text divisions, with gold, blue and pink white-patterned bars forming two- or three-sided borders with foliage extensions, birds, grotesques and hunting scenes: fol. 1r God in the form of an angel speaks to Abraham who lies, looking up at tree with flower and angel seated on the branches, four shields of arms of the Vianden family in margin, three-sided bar and foliage border with stork, birds, and hybrids playing musical instruments; fol. 2r Abraham’s daughter conceives by plucking and smelling the flower, Abraham and his wife conversing; fol. 3r Abraham’s daughter stands under a cloud praying in fire, in which flowers are seen, her parents and others lamenting on right, the Jews who sentenced her on left; fol. 4r King Phanuel enthroned gives apple to sick men; fol. 4v Nude holy girl seated in basket in the oak tree, stag pursued by Joachim and King Phanuel leaps up to a nude virgin on a tree; fol. 6v Joachim sacrificing lamb, high priest repels him; fol. 7r Angel appears to Joachim, Joachim embraces Anna; fol. 9r Annunciation, three-sided bar and foliage border with birds and hare hunting; fol. 10r Visitation; fol. 12r Annunciation to the Shepherds; fol. 13r Adoration of the Magi; fol. 14v Flight into Egypt; fol. 15r Massacre of the Innocents; fol. 15v Christ among the Doctors; fol. 16v Marriage at Cana; fol. 17r Raising of Lazarus; fol. 18r Entry into Jerusalem; fol. 18v St Mary Magdalene washing Christ’s feet; fol. 19r Judas receives money bag from Jews; fol. 20r Last Supper; fol. 20v Christ washing St Peter’s feet; fol. 21v Agony in the Garden; fol. 22v Christ before Caiaphas; fol. 24r Judas returns money to Jews, Suicide of Judas; fol. 25v Pilate’s wife asks her husband to spare Christ, while he asks the Jews about Christ’s misdoing; fol. 26v Flagellation, Christ taken away by the Jews; fol. 28r Carrying of the Cross; fol. 28v Crucifixion with two thieves whose souls are taken by angel and devil, Virgin supported by St John, women, Jews, sun, moon, and soldier with scroll inscribed vere fili dei erat ite (sic); fol. 30r Harrowing of Hell (censored); fol. 33v Entombment; fol. 35v Resurrection, Christ stepping out of tomb, two angels, soldiers asleep; fol. 36r Three Women at the Tomb; fol. 38v Ego sum; fol. 40r Doubting Thomas; fol. 41r Pentecost.

Forty-eight historiated initials in white-patterned blue or pink on diapered or punched gold grounds with gold, blue and pink white-patterned bars running the full length of the text column and terminating into foliage extensions with occasional grotesques in upper and lower margins:
fol. 9r Marian texts, [O, 4 ll.] Wedding of Mary and Joseph; fol. 42r [A, 6 ll.] Annunciation of the Death of the Virgin; fol. 43r [A, 7 ll.] Death of the Virgin, Christ in heaven holding her soul; fol. 44r [T, 7 ll.] Funeral procession of the Virgin, [S, 7 ll.] Miracle of the Jew’s hands stuck to the Virgin’s coffin;

fol. 45v Guillaume le Clerc, Bestiare divin, [Q, 7 ll.] clerical teacher talking to pupils, [O, 6 ll.] lion and whelp; fol.46v [S, 8 ll.] antelope with horns caught in bushes, speared by man; fol. 47r [I, 6 ll.] fire stones on hill; fol. 47v [C, 6 ll.] two men cooking on whale; fol. 48r [O, 6 ll.] caladrius brought to sick man; fol. 48v [S, 7 ll.] Pelican in her piety above Crucifixion, altar on left; fol. 49r [E, 6 ll.] owl below starry cloud; fol. 49v [L, 6 ll.] eagle in water, sun in cloud above; fol. 50r [E, 6 ll.] phoenix in flames on altar in church; fol. 50v [S, 6 ll.] two hoopoes plucking parent’s feathers; fol. 51r [S, 6 ll.] ants with corn; fol. 52r [L, 6 ll.] three sirens, one the bird-type, another embracing one of two sleeping men in boat; fol. 52v [B, 6 ll.] hedgehog in tree and another one on grass; fol. 53r [B, 6 ll.] ibis picks out corpse’s eyes; fol. 54r [C, 6 ll.] fox tricking birds; fol. 54v [I, 6 ll.] unicorn with head in maiden’s lap, hunter tying its neck; fol. 55v [N, 6 ll.] beaver biting off his testicles, hunter blowing horn; fol. 56r [C, 6 ll.] two hyenas eating corpses; fol. 56v [I, 6 ll.] hydrus eats through crocodile; fol. 57r [C, 6 ll.] goat; fol. 58r [I, 6 ll.] two wild asses braying every hour during an equinox; fol. 58v [C, 6 ll.] three apes carrying young, [i. O, 6 l.] halcyon hovers over water to catch fish; fol. 59r [E, 6 ll.] panther followed by animals; fol. 60v [T, 6 ll.] two men cooking on whale; fol. 61r [S, 7 ll.] partridges forgetting their own young and turning to others; fol. 61v [A, 6 ll.] weasel conceives by the ear and gives birth by the mouth; fol. 62r [S, 6 ll.] asp keeping itself deaf, man throwing his gold into the sea; fol. 62v [I, 6 ll.] ostrich looks back at sun in cloud, sun warms ostrich’s egg; fol. 63r [O, 6 ll.] man shoots at two turtledoves in tree, one is dead and the other stays alone; fol. 63v [N, 6 ll.] stag about to eat a viper; fol. 64r [I, 6 ll.] salamander; fol. 64v [I, 6 ll.] Perindeus tree, dragon looks at doves in tree, two doves on ground; fol. 66v [E, 6 ll.] Amphisbena, two elephants and young drinking water; fol. 67v [L, 6 ll.] man cuts large stone (diamond) with a piece of iron tempered in hot goat’s blood; fol. 74v Somme le Roi, [L, 8 ll.] teacher addressing pupils, three-sided border with hybrid shooting at another; fol. 123r Honorius Augustodunensis, Lucidaire, [S, 7 ll.] teacher at lectern with book open, clerical student with closed book; fol. 143r Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, second extract, [P, 6 ll.] author writing; fol. 144v [S, 6 ll.] five dragons; fol. 153r Prester John’s letter, [P, 6 ll.] enthroned king receives sealed letter, man holding messenger’s horse; fol. 156v Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, third extract, [T, 6 ll.] the earth divided in three parts and surrounded by sea; fol. 162r Brunetto Latini, Livre du Tresor, fifth extract, [P, 5 ll.] author reading.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue or pink white-patterned initials [4 ll.] with foliage infill or hybrids on gold grounds and identical extensions; alternate gold and blue initials [2 – 4 ll.] with violet and red pen-flourished infill and extensions; alternate red and blue paragraph signs (fols. 123r –143r, 162r –166r); verse capitals highlighted in red.


History note: Completed in 1323 (colophon, fol. 166r) probably for a member of the Vianden family, lords of Rumst in Brabant (arms, fol. 1r); Dom Carpentier (d. 1767); Count Mac-Carthy-Reagh (1744 – 1811); sale catalogue of his library, Paris, 1815, no. 2814; Alexander Douglas Hamilton (1767 – 1852), tenth Duke of Hamilton, his MS 273 in the catalogue of the Hamilton collection privately printed by Sotheby’s in 1882; purchased by the Prussian State in 1882; re-sold by the Prussian State via Trübner, Strasbourg, at Sotheby’s, London, 23 May 1889, lot 20, and purchased for the Museum.

Place(s) associated

  • Ghent ⪼ Flanders
  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1889) by Sotheby's

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 210 mm Width 151 mm
Page Height 290 mm Width 211 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: si sen entroit
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 20
Primary reference Number: 169648
Project ID: 225
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 23 August 2022 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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Miscellany (verse and prose)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-21 03:16:11

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Miscellany (verse and prose) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-21 03:16:11|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Miscellany (verse and prose)"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Miscellany (verse and prose)</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...