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Missal: MS 6-1954

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Artist: Pietro, Sano di and assistants




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 338 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 369 x 263 mm (233 x 163 mm), two columns, 28 lines, ruled in black ink and very faint plummet, catchwords.

BINDING: Late fifteenth-century Italian binding of red-brown leather over wooden boards, blind-tooled with four different rolls of ornament and an arabesque lozenge stamp, two straps with gilt metal clasps in the form of lions' masks on lower cover, two quatrefoil metal catches with centre pins on upper cover, edges gilt and gauffered, re-backed.

fols. 1r-6v Calendar
fols. 7r-143v Temporal from Advent to Holy Saturday
fols. 143v-166r Ordinary and Canon of the Mass
fols. 166v-218r Temporal from Easter Sunday to Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
fols. 219r-278r Sanctoral
fols. 279r-303v Common of the Saints
fols. 303v-305r Masses for the Dedication of a Church and an Altar
fols. 305r-333r Votive Masses
fols. 333r-335r Blessing of Salt and Water, and Asperges
fols. 335r-337r Plain chant on a four-line stave
fols 337r-338r Gloria and Credo

DECORATION: Large framed miniature: fol. 160v Canon Prayer, Crucifixion of Humility, with the Virgin and St John seated on the ground beside the Cross.

Twenty historiated initials with full or partial borders of acanthus leaves in purple-pink, red, green, blue and yellow, gold balls and occasional insects and fantastic birds, mostly for the Collects: fol. 7r Advent Sunday, [C, 7 ll.] Bust of Christ blessing, with shield of Bichi impaling Bellanti in lower margin (sixteenth-century addition); fol. 18r Christmas Day, [C, 7 ll.] Adoration of the Child; fol. 25v Epiphany, [D, 6 ll.] Adoration of the Magi; fol. 166v Easter Sunday, [D, 7 ll.] Resurrection; fol. 183v Pentecost, [D, 7 ll.] Pentecost with Virgin Mary and Apostles; fol. 192v Corpus Christi, [D, 7 ll.] Elevation of the Host; fol. 220r St Andrew, [M, 6 ll.] Bust of St Andrew; fol. 229r St Agatha, [D, 4 ll.] St Agatha holding a platter containing two breasts; fol. 232v Annunciation, [D, 7 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 236v St Monica, [D, 5 ll.] Bust of St Monica; fol. 242r Nativity of St John Baptist, [D, 7 ll.] St John the Baptist; fol. 245r Saints Peter and Paul, [D, 7 ll.] Busts of Saints Peter and Paul; fol. 250v St Mary Magdalene, [B, 8 ll.] St Mary Magdalene; fol. 258v Assumption, [F, 7 ll.] Assumption with the Virgin seated among angels; fol. 261r St Augustine, [A, 7 ll.] St Augustine; fol. 264r Nativity of the Virgin, [F, 6 ll.] Birth of the Virgin; fol. 265v St Nicholas of Tolentino, [C, 6 ll.] Bust of St Nicholas of Tolentino; fol. 274v All Saints, [C, 7 ll.] Saints Peter, Paul and other saints; fol. 325r [S, 6 ll.] Two-barred cross.

ORNAMENTATION: Illuminated initials [3-5 ll.] with foliage infill and small extensions of acanthus leaves into the margins (e.g. fols. 7r, 18r. 166v) for Introits, Epistles and Gospels of the main feasts; pen-flourished red and blue initials [2-3 ll.] with small marginal extensions (e.g. fol. 166v) for Introits, Collects, Epistles, Gospels, Secrets and Postcommunions; opening words of the Canon Prayer, Te igitur, in gold capitals on blue ground with white rinceaux (fol. 160v).


History note: A House of Austin Friars, probably that of San Salvatore in Lecceto, near Siena; in the sixteenth century belonged to the Sienese family of Bichi whose arms, impaled with Bellanti are added on fol. 7r (the eagle in chief for Bichi was introduced after 1472; for the arms of both families see Lisini 1901, pls. 32, 39, 42, 71; Borgia et al. 1984, 152-53, 156-57, 158-59, 170-71, 336, 338) ; M. Didier-Petit of Lyons, c.1843 (ownership inscription on paper flyleaf at front); H.A. Brölemann (armorial bookplate on paper flyleaf at front); Mme Etienne Mallet; her sale, Sotheby’s, London, 4 May 1926, lot 162; purchased by Bernard Quaritch, no. 72 in their catalogue of 1931, no. 324 in their catalogue of 1938; purchased from Quaritch by Viscount Lee of Fareham (1868-1947) in June 1946 (armorial bookplate inside upper cover); presented to the Museum by his widow in accordance with his wishes in 1954.

Place(s) associated

  • Siena

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1954) by Lee of Fareham, Viscount


15th Century, second quarter#
Circa 1446 CE - Circa 1450 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: inimici mei
  • Location: Fol. 8r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 6-1954
Primary reference Number: 176495
Project ID: 1187
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 December 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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