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Diurnal: MS McClean 64

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii paper flyleaves (foliated i – iii) + 317 fols. + iii paper flyleaves (foliated iv-vi), 89 x 128 (52 x 73) mm, 21 – 22 long lines, ruled in plummet, quire and leaf signatures, illuminated pages interleaved with unfoliated paper leaves.

BINDING: nineteenth century, blue velvet over pasteboards, edges gilt and gauffered

CONTENTS: fols. 2r – 7v Calendar; fol. 8r Table of zodiac signs ; fols. 8v – 9v Circular diagram of the epacts with explanatory text; fol. 10r-v Table of modus imponendi historias secundum rubricam ordinis nostri; fols. 11r – 105r Temporal
fols. 105r – 204v Sanctoral; fols. 204v –235v Common of Saints; fols. 236r – 304v Psalms and Ferial Office; fols. 304v – 313 Litany and added offices.

ORNAMENTATION: Ornamental initials [10 – 7 ll.] on gold ground with a pattern of dull gold on burnished gold, segmented frames in blue and green, and occasionally in gold, on coloured grounds, some with gold text block frame, most with three-sided acanthus or branch-work borders decorated with flowers, inhabited by animals, birds of several types, hares, deer and peacocks, decorated with large gold dots, for the main feasts of the Temporal and Sanctoral (e.g. fols. 11r, 22v, 65r, 82r, 89r, 125r, 128v, 160v, 176v, 191v);
identical initials [7 – 8 ll.] of the same two types with one- or two-sided acanthus borders with flowers for lesser feast days; identical initials [4 – 5 ll.] for minor offices, sometimes combined with one- or two-sided borders, that on fol. 201r (feast of St Cecilia) including three vases with strawberries, pinks and columbines; alternate red and blue penwork initials [2 ll.] with red and blue pen-flourished infill and extensions; capitals highlighted in red.

Embroidery: Bands of red, blue, green and yellow silk embroidered in a double-edged saw pattern horizontally or vertically on borders throughout manuscript (e.g. fols. 12r, 13r, 34r, 59r, 102r). This rare feature of multicoloured silks has a parallel with the coloured silks used for repairing defective parchment in some twelfth-century manuscripts from Weingarten (cf. entry on Fitzwilliam Museum, MS McClean 101, in this catalogue).


History note: Thomas Willement (1786 – 1871), acquired in 1834 (ownership inscription, fol. i verso); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 22-24 June 1865, lot 458; Frank McClean (1837 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, fourth quarter
Circa 1480 CE - Circa 1490 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: Rota in folio
  • Location: Fol. 9r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 64
Primary reference Number: 170710
Project ID: 26
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 July 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Diurnal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-13 03:23:36

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