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Romances: MS McClean 179

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Object information

Current Location: In storage





PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii modern parchment flyleaves + 215 fols. + ii modern parchment flyleaves, 312 x 228 (226 x 154) mm, 2 columns, 41 lines, ruled in plummet, pricking in inner and outer margins, quire and leaf signatures, leaves lost between fols. 144 – 145, 161 – 162, 171 – 172, 176 – 177.

BINDING: nineteenth century, brown morocco over wooden boards, gold-tooled turn-ins, purple silk bookmark, by Belz-Niédrée, Paris .

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 144v Roman de Laurin; fols. 145r – 161v Roman des sept sages de Rome; fols. 162r –215r Marques de Rome .

DECORATION: Nine framed column miniatures on gold grounds: fol. 1r Laurin sees Baudemagus blindfolded, whipped, and taken away by his two captors; fol. 10r Laurin sleeping at the fountain while the lady with the silver jug approaches; fol. 17v Laurin and Desriet on horseback fighting with lances; fol. 40v Mordred and his companions on horseback before a castle, Mordred knocking on door, lady looking from window; fol. 68r Queen Dyogene threatened to be burnt alive outside the castle of Aragon, her cousin looking from the walls; fol. 89v Marques riding at the quintain and demolishing it, Laurin riding behind; fol. 98r The Lord of Malpertuis allows Galliene to have the Lord of Gorre imprisoned; fol. 135r Marques embraces Dyogene; fol. 186r Laurine finds Marques and a lady dining in a tent.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [2 – 4 ll.] on blue and pink white-patterned grounds.


History note: M.J. Techener, Paris, no. 245 in the catalogue of his stock published 1865 – 1867; Baron François-Florentin-Achille Seillière (1813 – 1873); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 25 Feb. – 1 March 1887, lot 933; purchased by Bernard Quaritch, no. 186 in his Catalogue 103 (April 1890); purchased from him by William Morris (1834 – 1896); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 3 – 7 Dec. 1898, lot 988; purchased by Frank McClean (1837 – 1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


Thirteenth century, last quarter
Circa 1275 CE - Circa 1300 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: por coi
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 179
Primary reference Number: 170729
Project ID: 491
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

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 (2023) "Romances" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-04 16:54:39

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{{cite web|url= |title=Romances |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-04 16:54:39|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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