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Benedictional: MS 27

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern paper flyleaves + 82 fols. + ii modern paper flyleaves, 214 x 162 (165 x 97) mm, 19 – 20 long lines, ruled in hard point, quire marks.

BINDING: 19th century, before 1818, black leather over pasteboards, rectangular frame with floral motifs, blue and white endbands, spine with signature ‘Rel. P. Simier’; this is René Simier (1772-1843), one of the most important binders of the Restoration in France, who became binder to Louis XVIII in 1818 and began to sign his binding ‘Simier R. du Roi’ (Travier 2003).

CONTENTS: fols. 1v – 66v Blessings for the Temporal and Sanctoral combined, beginning with Christmas Eve and ending with the Advent season; fols. 66v – 73r Blessings for the Common of the Saints; fols. 73v – 75r Bessings for the dedication of a church; fols. 75r – 82r Blessings for bishops, a synod, kings, fasts and various special occasions.

DECORATION: fol. 1r Sketch made with a stylus: decorative page with interlaced border, in lower half bishop reading a benediction from a book held for him by a cleric who is accompanied by two other figures.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold and silver initials [9 – 11 ll.] formed of interlaced bands outlined in red, some with foliate motifs, others monogrammed (e.g. IN Nomine, fol. 1v; BENEdictione in cotidianis diebus, fol. 13v; D(omin)NE, fol. 50r) at major text divisions; gold and silver initials [3 – 5 ll.] outlined in red with interlaced bands, foliate motifs, and occasional small dragon heads (e.g. fol. 6v, 29v) for benedictions; display script in red uncials [1 – 2 ll.] filled in with plain dabs or strokes of fluid gold for the headings of the major benedictions; display script in red or black with gold for the lesser headings and Amens.


History note: Made for a bishop of Augsburg; Alexander Douglas Hamilton (1767 – 1852), tenth Duke of Hamilton, his MS 73 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, with Sotheby’s, London, 23 May 1889, lot 5, and purchased for the Museum.

Place(s) associated

  • Augsburg ⪼ East-Frankish Kingdom

Acquisition and important dates

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


10th Century, Mid#
Circa 925 CE - Circa 975 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of paper parchment
Text Height 165 mm Width 97 mm
Page Height 214 mm Width 162 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: A cunctis eum
  • Location: Fol. 3r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 27
Primary reference Number: 169703
Project ID: 50
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 13 November 2023 Last processed: Monday 13 November 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Benedictional" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-06 17:46:59

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