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Historiated initial from an Antiphoner: MS 378

An image of Cutting (manuscript)

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Historiated initial from an Antiphoner


Artist: Libri, Girolamo dai




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 183 x 180 mm, two four-line staves ruled in red ink and two lines of fragmentary text on reverse, largely obscured by paper to which they were formerly pasted.

CONTENTS: Part of the second antiphon at Vespers for Trinity Sunday, [Laus et perenni]s glo[ria Deo Patri et Filio], on reverse; the initial G would have introduced the first antiphon, Gloria tibi Trinitas.

DECORATION: Historiated initial formed of stylized acanthus and architectural motifs on burnished gold ground: [G, height of two musical staves and two text lines] Throne of Mercy with heavenly choir, the Father’s triangular halo is inscribed with the initials P[ater], F[ilius] and S[piritus sanctus].


History note: Probably belonged to William Young Ottley (1771-1836) and may have been sold at his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 11 May 1838, as part of lot 76; in a French collection by the nineteenth century (‘Joubert’ stamped on the red damask backing of the frame in which the initial arrived at the Museum in 1937, round label inscribed ‘L.D.l. B 45’ glued onto damask); Sir George Holford (1860-1926); his sale, Sotheby’s London, 12 July 1927, lot 11; purchased for £340 by Colnaghi for Leonard D. Cunliffe (d. 1937)

Place(s) associated

  • Verona

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1937) by Cunliffe, Leonard Daneham


16th Century, second quarter#
Circa 1540 CE - Circa 1550 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 378
Primary reference Number: 178423
Project ID: 3530
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 4 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Historiated initial from an Antiphoner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-03 17:26:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Historiated initial from an Antiphoner |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-03 17:26:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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