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Benedictional: MS McClean 52

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Aforismus siderum and miscellaneous texts




A Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 44 fols. (foliated i – ii, 1-42, the latter being medieval foliation in red,), 211 x 148 mm (137 x 90 mm), 24 long lines, ruled in plummet, catchwords.

B Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 5 fols., 211 x 148 mm (168 x 118 mm), 29 long lines, ruled in plummet.

BINDING: Nineteenth century, purple-brown leather over wooden boards, B bound upside down at the end of the volume, first title BENEDICTIONES gold-stamped on top of spine, second title AFORISMUS gold-stamped upside down at bottom of spine.

fols. i recto - ii recto Index of the Benedictions of the Temporal and Sanctoral
fols. 1r-39r Benedictions for the Temporal and Sanctoral
fols. 39v-42r Benediction of a font
fol. 42v Benedictions for Confirmations

fols. 1r-2r Aforismus siderum (Involutio sphaerae)
fol. 2r Interpretation of the Hebrew Alphabet (begins imperfectly)
fol. 2v Letter written partly in Tironian notes
fols. 2v-3v Life of St Jerome (BHL no. 3871d, Fros 1986, 422, no. 6b)
fol. 4r-4v Notes on the liturgical year from Septuagesima to Maundy Thursday attributed to Hrabanus Maurus
fol. 5r-5v Compendiosa disputatio

DECORATION: Diagram of the constellations and musical tones with a rough sketch of an altar beside it (B, fol. 5v).

ORNAMENTATION: Pen-flourished initial [D, 6 ll.] with peacock's tail pattern in the infill, parti-coloured stem and a large partial border in red, blue, green and purple penwork, containing exotic flowers, foliage, and a painted barbed quatrefoil with a blank shield surmounted by a bishop's mitre in the middle of the lower border (A, fol. 1r).


History note: Jean Baptiste Joseph Barrois (1780–1855), no. clxxxxiii in his collection, an inscription on fol. ii verso, Très curieux; Bertram, fourth earl of Ashburnham (1797–1878); Bertram, fifth earl of Ashburnham (1840-1913); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 10–14 June 1901, Barrois Collection, lot 54; purchased by Frank McClean (1837–1904); his bequest, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Venice ⪼ Veneto ⪼ Italy
  • Treviso ⪼ Veneto ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, second quarter#
9th Century-10th Century#
Circa 1425 CE - Circa 1450 CE

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: [exem]plis calciati castitati renes
  • Location: A
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: sub se ad australem
  • Location: B
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 52
Primary reference Number: 182092
Project ID: 789
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 14 September 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Benedictional" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-03 12:14:28

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