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Gradual: MS McClean 56

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i modern parchment flyleaf + 183 fols. + i modern parchment flyleaf, 514 x 380 mm (380 x 260 mm), 7 four-line musical staves ruled in red ink and 7 text lines ruled in faint plummet, leaf lost after fol. 42.

BINDING: Fifteenth and twentieth century, the original spine cover of dark brown calf, which was all that remained from the half leather cover once glued and nailed to the wooden boards, was removed, preserved in a separate box (together with nails, tacks and three fragments from a fifteenth-century Italian Choir book used as spine lining), and replaced with half cover of new alum tawed skin nailed to the original wooden boards with brass nails by Annie Winther, who repaired the split boards and the text block, re-sewing the manuscript on its six double supports, at the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1996.

fols. 1r-69r Sanctoral from the feast of St Andrew (30 Nov.) to that of St Catherine (25 Nov.)
fols. 69r-118v Common of the Saints
fol. 118v Commemoration of the Holy Cross
fols. 118v-126r Masses of the Virgin Mary
fols. 126r-139r Ordinary of the Mass with the chants for the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei
fols. 139r-163r Sequences for the Sanctoral
fols. 163r-183v Sequences for the Masses of the Virgin Mary

Thirteen historiated initials on dark blue grounds with full or large partial borders incorporating foliage, birds and occasionally animals (e.g. apes, added later): fol. 1r Introit for St Andrew, [D, 17 ll.] Christ calling Saints Andrew and Peter from their boat on Galilee; fol. 3r Introit for St Stephen, [E, 12 ll.] Martyrdom of St Stephen; fol. 5r Introit for St John the Evangelist, [I, 29 ll.] St John standing under a canopy holding a book; fol. 14v Introit for the Purification, [S, 12 ll.] Presentation in the Temple; fol. 20r Introit for the Annunciation, [R, 12 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 38v Introit for the Nativity of St John the Baptist, [D, 12 ll.] St Elizabeth holding the child John, Zacharias writing down his name; fol. 48r Introit for St Dominic, [I, 42 ll.] St Dominic standing and holding a book with a Dominican kneeling below him; fol. 54r Introit for the Assumption, [G, 12 ll.] Death of the Virgin with Christ receiving her soul; fol. 57r Introit for the Nativity of the Virgin, [G, 12 ll.] Birth of the Virgin; fol. 60r Introit for St Michael, [B, 12 ll.] St Michael trampling on the dragon; fol. 64r Introit for All Saints, [G, 12 ll.] Christ enthroned, blessing and flanked by standing saints; fol. 64v Introit for All Souls, [R, 12 ll.] Priest, accompanied by three Dominicans performing the Last Rites; fol. 69v Introit for the Common of Apostles, [M, 12 ll.] Saints Peter and Paul standing with two other apostles; fol. 124v Introit for the Mass of the Virgin, [S, 12 ll.] Bust of the Virgin and Child with two Dominicans below standing beside a lectern with a choir book.

ORNAMENTATION: Fully illuminated initials [6-8 ll.] with foliage infill in orange, pink, grey, yellow and grey-purple set on a dark blue ground with white rinceaux; alternate red and blue initials [3-7 ll.] with elaborate blue or red pen-flourished infill and surrounds.

Place(s) associated

  • Venice ⪼ Italy
  • Padua ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


14th Century, third quarter#
Circa 1375 CE - Circa 1400 CE Production date: circa AD 1325

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: in die officium lxxii
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 56
Primary reference Number: 182110
Project ID: 785
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 8 October 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

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 (2023) "Gradual" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-22 16:17:43

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{{cite web|url= |title=Gradual |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-22 16:17:43|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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