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Breviary: MS 38

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i 16th century paper flyleaf + i contemporary parchment flyleaf + 249 fols., 228 x 165 – 170 (162 x 105) mm, 2 columns, 38 lines, ruled in black ink.

BINDING: 16th century, brown leather over partially bevelled wooden boards, sewn on 5 double supports, blind-tooled central and concentric open panel design, stamps of dog with thistle above and below within diamond in centre, foliate motifs and profile heads within roundels in concentric rectangular bands, two straps with brass clasps (replacements) on lower cover, two catchplates on upper cover, pink and cream endbands, small parchment tabs with knotted leather ends for main and some lesser text divisions.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 62v Temporal (Advent to Easter Eve); fols. 63r – 81v Sanctoral (St Andrew to St Ambrose); fols. 82r – 93v Common of the Saints and the Virgin; fols. 94r – 120r Psalter; fols. 120v – 123v Hymns for major festivals
fols. 124r – 185r Temporal (Easter to Advent); fols. 185v – 246r Sanctoral (St Tiburtius to St Catherine); fols. 246r – 249r added offices for Saints Scholastica and Monica, Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, Saints Anthony and Jeron (Hieron).

ORNAMENTATION: Blue and red parted initials [4 – 9 ll.] on brown-red grounds with white foliate motifs or red and blue pen-flourished grounds, usually with silver, yellow and green highlighting of foliate motifs or crosses, both types with blue, red and brown penflourishing and full bar and pen-flourished borders (fol. 1r incorporating pheasant with scroll Volenti nichil difficile aut intollerabile est: hec augustinus) or two- or three-sided pen-flourished borders with foliate motifs for main text divisions, Psalms of the eight-fold division, and some major feasts in Temporal and Sanctoral; alternate blue and red initials [3 – 6 ll.] with internally-voided decorative motifs on red and blue pen-flourished grounds extending to form partial borders for Hymns, feasts in Common of Saints, some feasts in Temporal and Sanctoral, and lesser text divisions; alternate red and blue penwork initials [1 – 2 ll.] with blue or red penflourishing; alternate red and blue penwork initials [1 – 2 ll.].


History note: Probably Augustinian convent of St. Agnes, Delft; Richard, seventh viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816), acquired in 1812; his bequest, 1816

Place(s) associated

  • Delft ⪼ Northern Netherlands ⪼ Netherlands

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


15th Century, Mid
Circa 1440 CE - Circa 1460 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 162 mm Width 105 mm
Page Height 228 mm Width 165-170 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [assimila]ti sunt homines
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 38
Primary reference Number: 169707
Project ID: 54
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 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 (2024) "Breviary" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-21 08:36:55

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{{cite web|url= |title=Breviary |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-21 08:36:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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