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Gradual: MS McClean 57

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i parchment flyleaf + 96 fols. + i parchment flyleaf, 538 x 365 – 378 (408 – 416 x 235 – 243) mm, 10 long lines ruled in crayon, 10 four-line musical staves ruled in black ink, leaves lost before fol. 1 and between fols. 37 – 38.

BINDING: sixteenth century, brown leather over partially bevelled wooden boards, sewn on 7 double supports, blind-tooled central panel of foliate and geometric designs, metal shoes and heels at top and bottom of upper and lower covers, traces of two straps , cream endbands; repaired and rebacked

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 2r End of Temporal with the end of the texts for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity and those for the 23rd Sunday; fols. 2v – 72r Sanctoral (from St Stephen, 26 Dec., to St Thomas Apostle, 21 Dec.); fols 72r – 75v Texts for Votive Masses; ff. 76r – 78r Texts for Masses for the dead; fols. 78v –87v Offices for the main feasts of the Temporal and Sanctoral; fols. 87v – 90v Hymns for major feasts; fols. 91r – 96r Texts for Guardian Angel, Transfiguration, Name of Jesus and other feasts (addition).

DECORATION: Fourteen historiated initials [6 ll.] formed of blue, pink or brushed gold branch work and acanthus, with three-sided strewn-flower borders, some compartmentalized and some with extensive acanthus motifs, for major feasts: fol. 2v Sanctoral, [E, 6 ll.] Martyrdom of St Stephen; fol. 4r [I, 6 ll.] St John the Evangelist blessing chalice with serpent; fol. 20r Purification, [S, 4 ll.] Presentation in the Temple; fol. 27v [B, 6 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 40r [D, 6 ll.] St John the Baptist holding book and pointing to lamb; fol. 43r [N, 6 ll.] Saints Peter and Paul; fol. 45r [G, 4 ll.] Visitation; fol. 46v [G, 6 l.] St Mary Magdalene; fol. 48r [G, 6 ll.] St Anne with the Virgin and Child; fol. 53r [C, 6 ll.] St Laurence; fol. 57r [G, 6 ll.] Assumption of the Virgin; fol. 65v [G, 6 ll.] St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins; fol. 69v [G, 6 ll.] St Catherine, border with inscription VIRGO SANCTA KATHERINA : GRECIE GEMMA ALEXANDRIA : COSTI REGIS ERAT F[ILIA]; fol. 74r [S, 6 ll.] Virgin and Child clothed in the Sun, standing on crescent moon, crowned by angels.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue and red parted initials [4 – 6 ll.] on red and violet pen-flourished grounds, central part highlighted in green, for feasts of the Conversion of St Paul (fol. 17r), St George (fol. 29r), St Bernard (fol. 59r), St Michael (fol. 63v), Saints Simon and Jude (fol. 66v); blue, red or brown initials [1 – 2 ll.] with red, violet of brown pen-flourishing respectively, often incorporating grotesques, for lesser text divisions; red and brown penwork initials [2 ll.] for text divisions on fols. 91r – 96v.


History note: Purchased from Bernard Quaritch in 1894 by Frank McClean (1836 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges ⪼ Flanders

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, Late-16th Century, Early#
Circa 1490 CE - Circa 1520 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: Qui posuit fines
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 57
Primary reference Number: 170709
Project ID: 25
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 17 July 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 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) "Gradual" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 22:09:17

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