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Psalter: MS McClean 35

Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 170 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 207 x 152 (158 x 108 – 111, except fols. 143r – 169r, 161 x 98 – 104) mm, 19 long lines, written above top line, ruled in plummet and hard point (except fols. 143r – 170v, 20 – 23 long lines, ruled in brown ink, written below top line), Incipits of antiphons and termination of corresponding Psalm tone, frequently with musical notation in neumes on two- or four-line staves, added in fourteenth century, leaves lost after fol. 142.

BINDING: nineteenth century, gold-tooled parchment over wooden boards, pink leather tabs

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 6v Calendar (addition); fols. 7r – 131v Psalter, Gallican, with title, instructions for prayer, and interlinear translation of Psalm 118 (fols. 109r – 111v) in Old-High German added in fourteenth century; fols. 131v – 142v Canticles, Te Deum, Athanasian Creed, Pater Noster (ends imperfectly); fols. 143r – 148v Hymns for Nocturns and three main offices (addition); fols. 149r – 151v Litany (addition); fols. 151v – 156r Office of the Dead (no Vespers), with Nocturns in Advent (addition); fols. 156v – 169v Hymns for Advent, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Conversion of St Paul, feasts of Sts Paul, Anthony, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Mary Magdalene, St Peter in chains, Francis, All Saints, and all feasts of the Virgin (addition); fols. 169v – 170v Oratio dicenda propter salutem pugnantium, Deus venerunt gentes (addition).

ORNAMENTATION: fols. 7r – 142v): Gold or silver initials [3 – 15 ll.] on green, yellow and pink grounds, formed of foliate or zoomorphic motifs, including grotesques (fol. 106v), dog hunting hare (fol. 14v), and youth riding dragon (fol. 113v) for Psalms, Canticles, Athanasian Creed and Pater Noster; display script in gold capitals for opening verse of Psalm 1 (fol. 7r); alternate red and yellow one-line initials.

(fols. 1r – 6v, 143r – 170v): Red and blue parted initials [4 ll.] with pen-flourished infill and extensions; alternate red and blue penwork initials [1 – 2 ll.].


History note: At a Franciscan convent in Southern Germany by the fourteenth century (Calendar and other additions); unidentified bookplate engraved by Martin Tyroff of Nuremberg (d. c.1759) inside upper cover; Antiquariat Brockhausen & Bräuer, Vienna, active 1880 – 1900 (label inside upper cover); E.L. Grange of Grimsby, 1887 (ownership inscription on verso of paper flyleaf at front); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 14 – 15 March 1892, lot 452 (cutting from sale catalogue at front); purchased from Bernard Quaritch by Frank McClean (1836 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, second half#
Circa 1160 CE - Circa 1180 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: loquetur ad eos
  • Location: Fol. 8
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 35
Primary reference Number: 170701
Project ID: 16
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 16 October 2023 Last processed: Monday 16 October 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 (2023) "Psalter" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-04 21:12:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Psalter |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-04 21:12:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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