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Missal: MS McClean 50

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Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern parchment flyleaves + v medieval parchment flyleaves (foliated i-v) + 117 fols. (foliated 1-91, 91*-117) + iii medieval parchment flyleaves + iii modern parchment flyleaves, 280 x 180 mm (190 x 115 mm), 25 long lines, ruled in light brown ink, quire marks

BINDING: nineteenth century, light brown leather over pasteboards, blind-stamped with dark brown foliate ornament, gilt fore-edges, by Joseph W. Zaehnsdorf (1853–1930); two inscriptions give information on the previous binding: Unum missale quod solebat habere asseres argenti coopertum de albo (fol. 1v), Missale quod solebat habere asseres copert. / ex argento et nunc copertum de albo signat, litera…(last medieval parchment flyleaf at end)

SECUNDO FOLIO: [ut] hii qui in tua pietate confidunt

SCRIPT: Early Gothic bookhand

fol. v recto-verso Laudes crucis attolamus with musical notation on a red four-line stave (later addition)
fols. 1r-44r Temporal from Advent Sunday to Dominica XXVI after the Octave of Easter
fol. 44r-v Mass for the consecration of a church
fols. 44v-46r Mass for the anniversary of the dedication of a church
fols. 46r-57r Ordinary of the Mass
fol. 57r Collect (later addition)
fols. 57v-91v Sanctoral from St Stephen (26 Dec.) to St Martin (11 Nov.)
fol. 91*r Mass of St Martin (added leaf)
fols. 92r-95v Sanctoral from St Menna (11 Nov.) to St Thomas Ap. (21 Dec.)
fols. 95v-99v Common of Saints
fols. 99v-115r Votive Masses including a Mass for St Cyricus (fol. 102r)
fol. 115r-v Missa contra paganos; Pro invasione gentium (later additions)
fols. 115v-116v Excerpts from the Gospels of Saints John, Matthew and Luke (later additions)
fol. 117r Missa pro patre et matre (later addition)
fol. 117r Gospel of St John 1:1-14 through to the Last Gospel at the end of Mass (later addition)
fol. 117v Prayer, Omnipotens deus qui omne genus humanum tenebris infidelitas (later addition)
fol. 117v Sequence with musical notation on a four-line stave, Hodierne lux diei / celebris in matris dei/ agitur memoria (later addition)

Three-quarter page miniature in a green foliage frame outlined in orange and vermilion on a blue ground with a pink central panel for the Canon of the Mass: fol. 53v Crucifixion, with Virgin Mary and St John flanking the cross, surmounted by a very large titulus on which Christ hangs by four nails with his feet resting on a suppedaneum, with personifications of the sun and moon above.

Eight large multi-coloured initials [6-8 ll.] with foliage coil infill on red, blue and gold (occasionally with punch dots) grounds incorporating a dragon (fol. 5r), white lions (fol. 35r), bird motifs (fol. 57v ) and a mask at head of conjoined birds (fol. 90r) for the collects for the main Sundays and feast days (fols. 1r, 5r, 26v, 35r, 52v (two conjoined initials), 57v, 90r); gold initial [T, 4 ll.] on blue ground with gold foliage and silver crossbar for the Canon of the Mass (fol. 53v); red, blue, green and yellow arabesque initials [3-6 ll.] on grounds of contrasting colours with infill of foliage motifs on plain ground for other collects and textual divisions (e.g. fols. 3v, 33r), with occasional foliate marginal extensions (fol. 47v); alternate red and blue initials [1-7 ll.] with blue and red simple pen flourishing surround and infill respectively, including conjoined initials enclosing crosses for the Prefaces; red initials [2-6 ll.] for added texts (fols. 115r-116v); alternate red and blue one-line initials; capitals highlighted in red for Laudes crucis attolamus (fol. v recto-verso)


History note: Purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904) from Leo Olschki in 1893; his bequest, 1904.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Frank McClean

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, Late
1150 - 1199


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production

Iron gall ink

Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 190 mm Width 115 mm
Page Height 280 mm Width 180 mm

Techniques used in production

Egg tempura

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 50
Primary reference Number: 207638
Project ID: 790
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Friday 15 January 2016 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 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) "Missal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-14 02:06:04

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