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Antiphoner: MS Charles Fairfax Murray 6

Object information

Current Location: In storage




Artist: Master of the Cambridge Antiphoner




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii modern parchment flyleaves + 239 fols. + ii modern parchment flyleaves, 355 x 230 mm (inserted quire, fols. 216-222: 335 x 210 mm), (written space variable, c. 285 x 170 mm), 10 four-line musical staves ruled in red, ten lines of text, ruled in plummet.

BINDING: nineteenth century, brown suede over wooden boards.

fols. 1r-47v Temporal from the Vigil of Easter to November
fols. 47v-59r Antiphoner for Trinity Sunday and antiphons over the Benedictus and Magnificat for Sundays 1-25
fols. 59v-64v Ferial Offices
fols. 65r-163r Sanctoral following the Cistercian calendar
fols. 163r-194v Common of Saints
fols. 194r-197r Office of the Dead
fols. 197v-202r Settings of the Venite exultemus
fols. 202v-237r Hymnal (fols. 216-22, an inserted quire, containing the end of the Pange lingua and hymns for Palm Sunday, and Saints Andrew, Stephen, John the Evangelist, Agnes, Feasts of the Virgin, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins)
fols. 237r-238v Te deum and Te decet laus
fol. 238v Gregorian tones 1-8 for the Gloria
fol. 239r-v Musical cues for Benedictiones, Lectio epistole, Magnificat, Benedictus, Beatus vir

DECORATION: One historiated initial formed from interlacing foliage painted in pink, green, blue and orange with white highlighting and interspersed with lion masks and grotesques, with small border extensions: fol.1v Easter [A, 6-7 staves] Group of Cistercian monks singing from an Antiphoner in upper section, lower section excised; twenty (out of original twenty-two) historiated initials in graded blue on pink grounds or graded pink on blue grounds with short acanthus border extensions in pink, orange, blue and green, for major feasts: [fol. 13v, excised, Pentecost (?)]; fol. 17v Ascension, [P, 3 staves] Acension; fol. 34v In sabbatis de libro iob dicende, [S, 2 staves] Job suffering with his wife; fol. 38r In sabbatis a medio septembris, [P, 4 staves] Blinding of Tobit; fol. 49r Trinity Sunday, [B, 3-4 staves] The Trinity adored by two Cistercian monks (upper section, the Three Persons seated at a table, lower sections, Two Cistercian monks kneeling in prayer); fol. 65r St Benedict, [F, 3 staves] St Benedict and the monks of Vicovaro; fol. 69r Annunciation [M, 3 staves] Annunciation; fol. 77v Dedication of a Church, [O, 2-3 staves] Church interior arcade with two arches, hanging lamp and altar; [fol. 82r, excised, Invention of the Cross (?)]; fol. 84r St John at the Latin Gate, [Q, 2 staves] St John the Evangelist at his desk; fol. 88r St John the Baptist, [F, 2 staves] Baptism of Christ; fol. 93v St Peter and St Paul, [Q, 2-3 staves] Healing of a lame man by Saints Peter and John; fol. 99r St Paul, [Q, 2-3 staves] St Paul with sword; fol. 104r St Mary Magdalene, [M, 2 staves] Two Marys and Angel at the empty tomb; fol. 113r St Laurence [Q, 2 staves] Martyrdom of St Laurence; fol. 119r Assumption of the Virgin, [U, 2-3 staves] Assumption of the Virgin; fol. 125r St Bernard of Clairvaux, [P, 2-3 staves] St Bernard of Clairvaux blesses a group of white monks; fol. 133v St Michael, [F, 2-3 staves] St Michael slays a devil; fol. 146r St Martin, [H, 2 staves] St Martin divides his cloak (compare Fitzwilliam Museum, MS McClean 114, fol. 175v); fol. 156r St Clement, [O, 2 staves] St Clement prays to the Paschal Lamb; fol. 158r St Andrew, [D, 2 staves] Martyrdom of St Andrew; fol. 163v Common of Saints (Apostles), [E, 2 staves] Christ sends out the Apostles.

ORNAMENTATION: Fifteen ornamental initials [2-3 staves] in graded dark pink or blue on solid grounds of contrasting colour extending into partial borders, with infill of dense scrolling foliage, mainly acanthus, in graded blue, pink and orange, for lesser feasts (fols. 9v, 22r, 26v, 31v, 38r, 41r, 44v, 74v, 108v, 140v [excised], 130r, 151v, 168v [excised], 179r, 183v, 190r, 212v); two parted initials in red and blue [2 staves], with intricate pen flourishing in the same colours, extending to form partial borders: fol. 194v (Office of the Dead) and fol. 202v (Hymnary); alternate red and blue initials [1-2 staves], with scalloped pen flourishing in contrasting colour, for verses and responses; occasional parted initials in red and blue from fol. 119 onwards; plain red or blue initials for musical cues on fol. 239; incipits accompanying historiated initials written in alternate red and blue display capitals with contrasting pen flourishing, to fill the space between staves.

Inserted quire (fols. 216-22); Voided initial in red [2 staves] with same colour foliate flourishing; plain red initials.


History note: A Cistercian abbey in Lombardy (possibly Morimondo, Diocese of Milan); still in use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (additions made in a series of hands to update the cycle of feasts); Sotheby’s, 10 November 1880, lot 1351; Bernard Quaritch (pencil note inside upper cover); purchased by Charles Fairfax Murray (1849–1919) and presented to the Museum in 1904 (label inside upper cover).

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1904) by Murray, Charles Fairfax


13th Century, third quarter
Production date: circa AD 1260

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: [ueni]te et uidete locum
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS Charles Fairfax Murray 6
Primary reference Number: 183669
Project ID: 1183
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 20 May 2021 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) "Antiphoner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-21 02:21:09

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