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Sermons: MS McClean 104

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii modern paper flyleaves + 163 fols. + ii modern paper flyleaves, 260 x 178 mm (189 x 112 mm), 25 (quire 1), 27 (quires 2-6), 31 (quires 7-20) long lines, ruled in plummet (apart from quire 8, fols. 57-64, ruled in brown ink), written above top line, quire marks.

BINDING: early nineteenth century, gold-stamped mottled brown-green calf over pasteboards

SECUNDO FOLIO: nostrum. Quando

SCRIPT: Early Gothic bookhand

fols. 1r-9r Augustine, Sermo ad catechumenos de symbolo (PL 40, cols. 627-636; CCSL 46, 185-199, CPL no. 309)
fols. 9r-52r Quodvultdeus (ascr. to Augustine in this MS), Sermones I-III de symbolo (PL 40, cols. 637-668; CCSL 60, 305-363; CPL nos. 401-403), Sermo VI de ultima quarta feria (PL 40, cols. 685-694; CCSL 60, 395-406; CPL no. 406), Sermo VII de cataclysmo (PL 40, cols. 693-700; CCSL 60, 409-420; CPL no. 407)
fols. 52v-120v Augustine, Sermones XV de lapsu mundi, with Capitula
fols. 121r-163v Augustine, Jerome and Ambrose, Twenty-one sermons on the Old Testament

Red or blue initials [3-10 ll.] with foliate or geometric contours, infill or extensions in blue, red or yellow, including arabesque finials (e.g. fols. 1r, 123v, 151v), reserved straight or wavy lines (e.g. fol. 101v), beads with pairs of short strokes or curved ‘horns’ (e.g. fol. 53r, 65v), and yellow fern-like motifs (e.g. fol. 26r), for sermons; one-line red or blue penwork initials for Credo (fol. 1r) and capitula (fols. 52v, 121r).


History note: Made at the Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny and preserving its twelfth-century ex libris with anathema on fol. 163v: Liber sanctae Mariae Pontiniacensis. Quicumque illum furatus fuerit anathema sit (Peyrafort-Huin 2001, 135, fig. 5); recorded in the abbey’s catalogues of the third quarter of the twelfth-century (Peyrafort-Huin 2001, 37, 512); still there in the eighteenth century, as revealed by two ex-libris inscriptions, L[iber] Bibliothecae Pontiniacensis on fol. 1r by Dom Depaquy (d.1800) and ‘De la Bibliothèque de l’abaye (sic) de Pontigny’ on fol. ii verso probably penned by him when he re-catalogued the library c.1778 (Peyrafort-Huin 2001, 206); transferred to Auxerre in April 1791 at the start of the Revolution and incorporated into the newly founded public library, as suggested by the ‘no. 228’ (fol. 1r) written by P. Laire (whose catalogue was compiled after the transfer to Auxerre) and replaced with ‘no. 219’ by the revolutionary commissioners (Peyrafort-Huin 1984, 96-99, 101-104; Peyrafort-Huin 2001, 214, 235, 512); Jean Baptiste Joseph Barrois (1780-1855); acquired by Bertram, fourth Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878) in 1849; Bertram, fifth Earl of Ashburnham (1840-1913); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 10-14 June 1901, Barrois Collection, lot 34 (sale catalogue cutting pasted to fol. i recto); purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904); his bequest, 1904.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Frank McClean

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century
Circa 1160 - Circa 1175


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production

Iron gall ink

Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 189 mm Width 112 mm
Page Height 260 mm Width 178 mm

Techniques used in production

Egg tempura

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 104
Primary reference Number: 207640
Project ID: 611
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Monday 18 January 2016 Updated: Friday 14 October 2022 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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