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Book of Hours: MS McClean 95

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Author: Grote, Geert
Artist: Master of the KOG Book of Hours




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 184 fols. (fol. 184 pasted onto modern paper flyleaf) + i paper flyleaf, 179 x 128 (90 x 62) mm, 20 long lines, ruled in black ink.

BINDING: nineteenth century, red morocco over wooden boards.

CONTENTS:fols. 2r – 13v Calendar; fols. 15r – 45v Hours of the Virgin; fols. 47r – 66v Hours of the Cross; fols. 69r – 90v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 91r – 109v Hours of the Eternal Wisdom; fols. 111r – 118v Penitential Psalms; fols. 118v – 128r Litany with collects; fols. 130r – 160r Office of the Dead; fols. 161r – 161v Agnus Dei (begins imperfectly); fols. 161v – 162r Beginning of Gospel of St John; fols. 163r – 180v Meditations on the Passion.

DECORATION: Five full-page framed miniatures with full acanthus and floral borders containing human figures, birds, dragons, and biblical scenes:
fol. 14v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, dove and infant Christ flying in from window, in border God between angels, Gideon and the Golden fleece, Moses at the Burning Bush, Rebecca and Eleazar; fol. 46v Hours of the Cross, Crucifixion with Virgin supported by St John, Holy Woman, and Jews; fol. 68v Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost; fol. 110v Penitential Psalms, Last Judgement, Christ sitting on rainbow, feet on globe, sword and lily at head, Virgin and St John the Baptist interceding, two angels blowing trumpets above; fol. 129v Office of the Dead, Souls in Abraham’s bosom flanked by a saintly priest and angel holding candles, in border stag and Pelican in her piety.

Three historiated initials in blue with white acanthus ornament on gold grounds and full acanthus and floral borders including grotesques and biblical scenes, for most of the major text divisions:
fol. 15r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [H, 11 ll.] Virgin and Child surrounded by the Trinity, in border Jesse Tree with twelve kings and Christ between angels on top; fol. 91r Hours of the Eternal Wisdom, [M, 10 ll.] Christ standing and holding orb and open book, adoring angels in border; fol. 111r Penitential Psalms, [H, 10 ll.] David penitent, in border David fighting lion and bear, David slaying at Goliath, and David returning with Goliath’s head.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue initials [10 ll.] with white acanthus ornament and foliage infill on gold grounds, three-sided bar borders in gold, blue and pink, and full or three-sided acanthus and floral borders including birds, grotesques, a woman (fol. 15v), Annunciation of the Birth of Mary to Joachim (fol. 22r), a Pelican in her piety (fol. 47r), for remaining major text divisions (fols. 47r, 69r, 130r); blue and red parted initial [D, 7 ll.] with pen-flourished infill, extensions, and full border with green highlighting (fol. 163r); gold initials [2 – 3 ll.] on blue and red white-patterned grounds with bar border extending into gold-leaf spraywork in upper and lower margins and occasional three-sided spraywork and floral borders, that on fol. 22r including Angel appearing to Joachim in the field; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with violet and red pen-flourised infill and extensions; capitals highlighted in red; gold and blue geometric line-fillers.


History note: Bertram, fourth earl of Ashburnham (1797 – 1878), Ashburnham Appendix no. LXI; purchased from him by Henry Yates Thompson (1838 – 1928) in May 1897; his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 1 May 1899, lot 20; purchased by Frank McClean (1837 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, third 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: screyen voor
  • Location: Fol. 16
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 95
Primary reference Number: 170719
Project ID: 32
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 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) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 00:31:41

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