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Epistolae familiares: MS McClean 157

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Object information


Epistolae familiares


Cicero (Author)
Baldinotti of Pistoia, Tomasso (Scribe)


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Paper, ii modern paper flyleaves + 152 fols. (inaccurately foliated 1-149 in early brown ink) + ii modern paper flyleaves, 215 x 140 mm (140 x 90 mm), 37-39 long lines, ruled in plummet and hardpoint.

BINDING: Modern, green morocco tooled in gilt and blind over wooden boards, gilt edges; by Joseph W. Zaehnsdorf (1853–1930).

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-152r Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistolae familiares, I-XVI

ORNAMENTATION: Sixteen ornamental initials on burnished gold grounds [7 ll.], with foliate letter forms in pink, green or blue with contrasting infill, extending into margin to form partial floral borders with gold discs and spraywork, for book divisions (fols. 1r, 10v, 17v, 26v, 35r, 46r, 55v, 65r, 69r, 83v, 97v, 106v, 117r, 133r, 137r, 146r), accompanied in the lower margin of fol. 1r by a similar border with a laurel roundel with putto’s head housing a shield of arms, now heavily inked over, but with a diagonal red band and the drawing for a star still visible (the arms of Tomasso Baldinotti); red initials [2 ll.] at the start of each epistle.


History note: Copied in Rome by Tomasso Baldinotti of Pistoia (1451-1511) in 1471; Rome, Biblioteca Corsiniana, MS 584; purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904) from Leo Olschki in 1892; his bequest, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Rome

Acquisition and important dates

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

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of paper

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: dignitatem nostrum ut potest
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 157
Primary reference Number: 176584
Project ID: 470
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 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 (2022) "Epistolae familiares" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-04 12:29:35

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{{cite web|url= |title=Epistolae familiares |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-04 12:29:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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