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Breviary: MS 37

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii parchment flyleaves + 361 fols. + ii parchment flyleaves, 111 x 79 (86 x 55) mm, 29 long lines, ruled in black ink, catchwords.

BINDING: 19th century, brown leather over wooden boards by R. Riviere, black-tooled edge and central design, blue and red endbands, metal clasp on lower cover and catchplate on upper cover with representations of the Nativity, Flight in to Egypt and Ascension.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-1v Absolutions; fols. 2r-3r Metrum pro tabula festorum (showing possible days of the week for the non-movable feast days); fols. 4r-9v Calendar; fols. 10r explanatory text for computistic material; fols. 10v-11r computistic tables for the movable feasts; fol. 11v List of Old Testament readings for the Sundays after Pentecost; fols. 13r-62r Psalter; fols. 62v-66r Canticles; fols. 66r-67r Athanasian Creed; fols. 67r-68r Litany; fols. 68r-67v Hymns; fols. 77r-79r Office of the Dead; fols. 79r-81v Table of collects for Masses of the Dead and Votive Masses; fol. 82v Benedictiones matutinales
fols. 83r-234r Temporal; fols. 234r-282vr Sanctoral; fols. 283r-298v Common of the Saints; ; fols. 300v-353v Supplementary Offices of the Temporal; fols. 353v-360r Supplementary Offices of the Sanctoral.

DECORATION: Full-page framed miniature: fol. 12v Crucifixion with Virgin and St John.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold and blue parted initials [7 ll.] with blue, black and red pen-flourished infill and extensions, and full gold, blue and red bar borders with red and black pen-flourished tendrils, for beginnings of Psalter, Temporal, and Supplementary Offices of the Temporal (fols. 13r, 83r, 300v); gold initials [4 ll.] with black penflourishing for major text divisions; alternate blue and red penwork initials [2 – 3 ll.].


History note: Carthusian Monastery of St Michael, Mainz; W. Tite who purchased it at Sotheby’s, London, 16 Aug. 1858 (ownership inscription, recto of first flyleaf); purchased for the Museum in 1891.

Place(s) associated

  • Mainz ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1891) by Tite, W.


Fifteenth century, second quarter
Production date: circa AD 1438 : shortly after 1438

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Page Height 111 mm Width 79 mm
Text Height 86 mm Width 55 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Quatuor foraminum
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 37
Primary reference Number: 169706
Project ID: 53
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

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 (2022) "Breviary" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-11-28 10:56:50

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{{cite web|url= |title=Breviary |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-11-28 10:56:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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