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Epistulae: MS 172

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Author: Jerome
Artist: Jacopo da Fabriano




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i modern parchment flyleaf + 193 fols., 300 x 210 mm (192 x 128 mm), two columns, 39 lines, ruled in brown ink, quire and leaf signatures, catchwords.

BINDING: Fifteenth century, brown leather over wooden boards, with blind-tolled cable pattern, four trefoil metal mounts for clasps on lower cover, corresponding small metal bosses in groups of three on upper cover, the pastedown on the lower cover is the first leaf of a fourteenth-century copy of Rationale divinorum officiorum, modern spine repair, using early title label.

fols. 1r-2v Capitula to the Epistles of Jerome
fols. 5r-192r Jerome, selection of Epistles and related works with letters from Augustine, Damasus, Pammachius and Oceanus

DECORATION: Historiated initial [O, 10 ll.] in graded magenta on square gold ground, with full floral border framed by gold staves and containing putti, birds, a butterfly, and a series of historiated roundels: fol. 5r St Jerome at his desk accompanied by his lion, border roundels showing a youth (top left border), five roundels in outer border (from top to bottom), putti playing drum and trumpet with a bearded man (1), putti playing harp, drum and lyre (2), St Jerome penitent (3), two putti, one playing viol (4), and two putti wrestling (5), and three heraldic roundels (from left to right) supported by putti in lower border, barry of six azure and or, with three gold eight-pointed stars (1), on a gold ground, three blue mountains out of which a cross and two flowers are growing, surmounted by bishop’s mitre, partly erased (2), and barry of six azure and or, with three gold eight-pointed stars (3).

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [2-7 ll.] outlined in black and yellow on square grounds of blue, green, magenta and dark orange with white or yellow highlighting, for each letter.


History note: Monastery of San Benedetto in Fabriano (note in a seventeenth-century hand on fol. 1r); W.H. Crawford of Lakelands, Co. Cork; purchased for the Museum at his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 18 March 1891, lot 1558 (sale catalogue cutting inside upper cover).

Place(s) associated

  • Rome ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1891) by Crawford, W.H.


Fifteenth century, third quarter
Circa 1450 - Circa 1475

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: Ad Oceanum hieronimus de uita clericorum
  • Location: Fol. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Location: Fol. 5r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 172
Primary reference Number: 176703
Project ID: 398
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

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

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Epistulae" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-10-07 01:00:12

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{{cite web|url= |title=Epistulae |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-10-07 01:00:12|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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