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Saints' Lives: MS McClean 101

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Saints' Lives




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTON: Parchment, i contemporary flyleaf (lifted pastedown) + 179 fols. + i contemporary flyleaf (lifted pastedown), 385 x 260 (290 x 176) mm, two columns, 41 long lines, ruled in plummet, leaf lost after fol. 2.

BINDING: fifteenth century, blind-tooled brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on four supports, braided parchment endbands, two catchplates on lower cover, traces of two fixing plates for straps or clasps on upper cover, traces of 5 round bosses on each cover, leather tabs; repaired and rebacked.

CONTENTS: fol. 1r List of contents; fols. 1r – 2v De Inventione Sanguinis Domini; fols. 3r – 169r Lives of Sts Gregory, Ambrose, Sigismund, Walburga, Athanasius, Boniface martyr, Victor, Gangolf, Pudens and Pudentiana, Boniface eps., Barnabas, Alban, Gallicanus, Seven Sleepers, Goar, Pantaleon, Christopher, Pelagius, Egidius, Jerome, 11,000 Virgins, Pirmin, Eucharius, Valerius and Maternus ; fols. 169r – 178v Summa de divinis officiis; fol. 179v De translatione sanguinis Christi.

DECORATION: Two initials formed of saints’ figures: fol. 101v Life of St Athanasius, [I, 8 ll.] St Athanasius; fol. 157r Life of St Pirmin, [I, 12 ll.] St Pirmin.

ORNAMENTATION: Red, yellow and green initials [5 – 16 ll.] formed of foliate, zoomorphic and geometric motifs, filled with white foliage scrollwork on blue, green, grey and red grounds, and often extending into hybrid monsters, for Saints’s Lives; initial on fol. 94v (Passion of St Sigismund) contains four lions, one clothed holding cup, another taking pill; red initials [1 – 7 ll.] with foliate ornament.


History note: Benedictine abbey of St Martin in Weingarten (partially erased thirteenth-century ex-libris on fol. 179r); year 1628 recorded in partially erased inscription on fol. 1r; still in Weingarten when the abbey was dissolved in 1802 (recorded in catalogue of c.1802; Irtenkauf 1978, 348); Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792 – 1872), his MS 4182; his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 6 June 1898, lot 1134; purchased by Frank McClean (1836 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Weingarten ⪼ Southern Germany ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


13th Century, Early
Production date: circa AD 1200

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: supra dictum est
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 101
Primary reference Number: 170722
Project ID: 38
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 30 October 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 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) "Saints' Lives" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-13 06:26:25

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{{cite web|url= |title=Saints' Lives |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-13 06:26:25|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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