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Psalter: MS McClean 37

Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 132 fols., 153 x 114 (114 x 78) mm, 20 long lines, ruled in hard point, written above top line, antiphons with partial musical notation on two- and four-line staves added in fifteenth century, leaves lost before fol. 1 and after fol. 132.

BINDING: late twelfth century, limp vellum binding (reused), text block attached to cover by over-sewing at head and tail of spine, last quire strengthened with parchment strip, pink leather tabs, one threaded tab (fol. 7r).

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 120v Psalter, Gallican (begins imperfectly in Psalm 2:6
fols. 120v – 132v Canticles, Pater Noster, Apostles Creed, Te Deum, Athanasian Creed; fol. 132v Litany (ends imperfectly).

ORNAMENTATION: Green, red, blue and yellow initials [17 ll.] with foliate infill and zoomorphic motifs on silver and gold grounds for Psalms 51 and 101 (fols. 42r, 82v); identical initials [7 ll.] for Psalms 26, 38, 52, 68, 80, 97, 109 (fols. 19r, 31r, 42v, 54r, 68r, 80v, 94r) and Canticle of Isaiah (fol. 120v); silver initials [3 ll.] on yellow, red and blue grounds for Vespers Psalms; red pen-flourished initials [2 – 3 ll.] with reserved ornament for ordinary Psalms and Canticles; red penwork verse initials.


History note: Cutting from unidentified sale catalogue, lot number trimmed off, inside upper cover; Frank McClean (1837 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, Late
Circa 1190 CE - Circa 1199 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: predicans preceptum eius
  • Location: Fol. 1r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: [de]disti leticiam in corde meo
  • Location: Fol. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 37
Primary reference Number: 170702
Project ID: 609
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: 2023-12-05 13:35:05

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Psalter |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-05 13:35:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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