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Antiphoner: MS 44

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Ballo, Giovanni (Iohannes Ballus) (Scribe)
Battista Rosa, Giovanni and assistants (Artists)


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 161 fols. (foliated i, 1-160) + i paper flyleaf, 662 x 440 mm (444 x 286 mm), 5 four-line musical staves ruled in red ink, 5 text lines in between ruled in pale black ink, equivalent in all to 30 lines, one leaf lost after fol. 28.

BINDING: Seventeenth century, brown stained paper over wooden boards, sewn on six supports, leather spine and corner pieces nailed to boards, remains of metal furniture (probably chain attachments) on upper and lower covers

CONTENTS: fols. 1v-129v Antiphons, versicles and responsories for the Temporal from Trinity Sunday to the 22nd Sunday after Trinity (the leaf after fol. 28, which would have contained the beginning of Corpus Christi, has been excised)
fols. 129v-60v Antiphons, versicles and responsories for the Dedication of a Church.

DECORATION: Historiated initial with full border frame containing large clumps of acanthus foliage set against rinceaux ground with framed corner miniatures: fol. 2r Antiphon for the psalms for First Vespers of Trinity Sunday, [O, 11 ll.] Holy Trinity with God the Father and God the Son seated on clouds with a globe between them, and with the Holy Spirit as a Dove above them, the border originally contained four framed corner miniatures of saints, two of which have been cut out, those that survive have three-quarter length figures of Saints Dominic and Peter Martyr, in the middle of the top border a cartouche with heads of putti encloses the shield of the Dominican Order, surmounted by a crown, in the lower border a similar cartouche contains the arms of Pignatelli surmounted by a coronet.

Two initials sketched out in leadpoint, with borders of the type described above, but without sketches for the historiation: fol. 60v First Sunday after the Octave of Trinity Sunday, [L, 9 ll.] with two-sided border sketched out; fol. 130r Dedication of a Church, [framed space left for initial S, 11 ll.] with full border sketched out.

ORNAMENTATION: One large gold framed border block containing gold, green, blue and orange acanthus leaves on dark blue ground running up the full length of the outer border at the opening of Lauds for Trinity Sunday (fol. 23v); gold, red and blue initials [4-6 ll.] with ornamental foliage in their stems, set against coloured foliage grounds in gold frames (e.g. fols. 4v, 23v, 54r, 83r).


History note: Made for the Dominican church of Santa Maria della Sanità in Naples under the patronage of Fabrizio Pignatelli, Marquess of Cerchiara and from 1600 Prince of Noia: Hunc librum una cum ceteris Illustrissimus et eccellentissimus Dominus Fabritius Pignatellus nomine Princeps, grandi pecunia, sed maiore pietate, in Beatam Virginem Sanitatis, Cura et diligentia R. P. F. Dominici Guglielmini Neapolitani, opera uero ac labore Fratris Johannis Balli fieri mandauit (fol. 160v), the date below, probably mdciiii as in Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 45, has been erased; passed at unknown dates to San Domenico Maggiore, Naples, and then to the Marquess of Lorne, John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell (1845-1914), who became ninth Duke of Argyll in 1900; purchased for the Fitzwilliam in December 1888, together with MSS 43 and 45, from the bookseller, Kerr and Richardson, Queen Street, Glasgow, for £15 (note found inside MS 43 and now kept on file).

Place(s) associated

  • Naples

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1888) by Kerr and Richardson (bookseller)


Early 17th Century
Production date: circa AD 1604

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Grati]as tibi deus
  • Location: Fol. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: Beata et benedicta
  • Location: Fol. 3r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 44
Primary reference Number: 176361
Project ID: 300
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 8 October 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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Antiphoner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-06-28 13:58:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Antiphoner |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-28 13:58:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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