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Historiated initial from an Antiphoner: MS 378

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Object information


Historiated initial from an Antiphoner


Libri, Girolamo dai (Artist)


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


Second quarter of 16th century
Circa 1540 CE - Circa 1550 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted

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: Wednesday 24 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) "Historiated initial from an Antiphoner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-04 05:09:39

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