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Breviary: MS 334

Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 509 fols. (fols. 339r-509v preserve original foliation in red ink, 1-171) + i paper flyleaf, 128 x 93 mm (80 x 57 mm), two columns, 28 lines, ruled in faint plummet, catchwords

BINDING: Sixteenth and nineteenth century, upper cover and central section of spine cover of Italian olive brown morocco over wooden boards, sewn on four supports, gold-stamped with stars, floral and acanthus motifs, two catchplates on upper cover, edges gilt and gauffered with a floral and geometric pattern, repaired and re-sewn in the nineteenth century, lower cover and the head and tail of the spine covered in dark brown leather gold-stamped with foliate, floral and interlace motifs.

fols. 1r-6v Calendar
fols. 7v-11r Collects for the Common of Saints
fol. 11v Benedictiones ad vigilias dicende
fol. 13r Rubricated title, Incipit breuiarium secundum morem ordinis cisterciensium
fols. 13r-221r Temporal from the Vigil of Advent Sunday to the Last Sunday after Pentecost, ending on fol. 221r with a rubricated colophon, Non nobis domine non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam laus deo, and the year 1481
fols. 223r-299r Psalter
fols. 299r-312r Canticles, including the monastic canticles
fols. 312r-330v Hymnal
fols. 331r-334v Office of the Dead
fols. 334v-336r Litany
fols. 336r-337r Blessing of Salt and Water, ending fol. 337r with two colophons and the year 1481 given twice, Anno domini 1481 and Mcccclxxxi die xxviii Julii
fols. 339r-468v Sanctoral from the feast of St Stephen (26 Dec.) to that of St Thomas the Apostle (21 Dec.), ending with another colophon containing the year 1481
fols. 469r-504v Common of the Saints
fols. 504v-508v Office for the Dedication of a Church
fols. 509r-509v Offices for Octaves of Saints Stephen, John the Evangelist and Holy Innocents, and for the Translation of St Martin, ending on fol. 509v with the date Die xviii Maii 1481 Finis

DECORATION: Six historiated initials (out of original eight, see below) formed of acanthus, jewels, dolphins or angels (fol. 159r) in gold on red ground (except fol. 13r, green initial on gold ground), with small border extensions of gold acanthus (except fol. 13r, sprays with flowers and gold balls with black petal-like edges): fol. 13r Vigil of Advent Sunday, Capitulum, [E, 7 ll.] Bust of Isaiah holding scroll; fol. 124v Easter Sunday, the initial has been cut out leaving only a fragment of border decoration; fol. 159r Corpus Christi, Vespers Collect, [D, 6 ll.] Large monstrance on an altar; fol. 223r Psalter, Psalm 1, [B, 8 ll.] David seated in a church and reading a book; fol. 312r Hymnal, Eterne rerum conditor, [E, 6 ll.] Half-length figure of St Ambrose, author of this hymn; fol. 339r St Stephen, Vespers Collect, [D, 8 ll.] Stoning of St Stephen; fol. 425v St Bernard, First Lesson of Matins, [A, 4 ll.] Bust of St Bernard; fol. 469r Common of Apostles, the initial has been cut out leaving only a fragment of border decoration.

Engraving pasted inside upper cover: St Christina holding an open book and a palm branch, squeezing a snake, more snakes advancing at her feet, and being tortured by fire in the background, published by Adriaen Collaert (1560-1618), a reversed impression of his engraving of St Christina (Leesberg and Balls 2005, 46, no. 8 and 51, fig. 804, Hollstein no. H. IV, 266).

ORNAMENTATION: Pink or blue initials [4 ll.] on gold and/or silver grounds, some incorporating jewel designs (e.g. fols. 36v, 50r, 142v, 149r), others with spraywork and floral extensions (e.g. fol. 266v); alternate blue and red initials [2-3 ll.] with red or violet pen-flourished infill and frames; decorative motifs in borders: a shield with a crowned A (fol. 60v) and clumps of blue flowers (fols. 61r, 61v).


History note: Cistercian Abbey of Chiaravalle near Milan, as indicated by Sanctoral and the Calendar, containing the Dedication of the Church (2 May); ‘Di Carlo Porta’ (eighteenth-century stamp within an oval frame on fol. 1r); Alfred Aaron de Pass (1861-1952), a stamp with his initials, A de P, inside upper cover, and his summary on the manuscript’s production on the front flyleaf; presented by him to the Museum in 1933 in memory of his son Crispin, of Trinity Hall, who was killed at Cambrai in 1918.

Place(s) associated

  • Lombardy ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1933) by Aaron de Pass, Alfred

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: imminentibus eius intercessione (fol. 8r)
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 334
Primary reference Number: 182090
Project ID: 1970
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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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Breviary" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-12 11:47:45

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