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Fragment from a Sacramentary: MS McClean 49

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Current Location: In storage


Fragment from a Sacramentary




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern flyleaves + 14 fols. + iii modern flyleaves, 257 x 163 mm (187 x 108 mm), 29-32 long lines, ruled in hard point and plummet, with four-line musical staves ruled in red ink

BINDING: Late nineteenth century, purple morocco by Joseph William Zaehnsdorf (1853-1930), London.

fols. 1r [70r] - 3r [72r] Proper Prefaces for main feast days
fols. 3r [72r] - 3v [72v] Mass Propers for De commemoratione salvatoris
fol. 3v [72v] Prayers before Mass: (i) Confessio coram altari dicenda, inc. Suscipe confessionem nostram; (ii) Oratio sancti Ambrosii, inc. Conscientia culpabilis vite
fols. 4r [73r] - 6v [75v] Common Preface
fols. 7r [76r] - 10r [79r] Canon Prayer, Te igitur
fols. 10v [79v] - 14v [83v] Temporal from Holy Saturday to Thursday of Easter Week

DECORATION: Three historiated initials, framed, with interlace at terminals and in stems: fol. 4v Common Preface, [V, 9 ll.] Christ, three-quarter length with arms extended in orans pose, between two standing angels, set against coils of foliage on a gold ground; fol. 5r Common Preface [P, 10 ll.] Seraph on a gold ground with foliage; fol. 6v Common Preface [Q, 7 ll.] Angel kneeling on a gold ground with foliage.

There are offsets of two lost full-page framed miniatures on fols. 4r and 7r, facing the openings of the Common Preface and the Canon prayer, almost certainly Christ in Majesty and the Crucifixion respectively.

ORNAMENTATION: Three large framed initials [6 - 27 ll.] with interlace at terminals and in stems, together with geometrical medallions and animal heads on the stems, and in one case, fol. 4r, two standing men with bare torsoes and with arms and legs around the fillets of the initial, one with a lance, with, as infill, green, red, purple and blue foliage coils with white highlighting, single leaves, animals and birds, on gold grounds (fols. 4r, 6r, 7r); two initials [4 - 7 ll.] with foliage coils or leaves in green, red, purple and blue on gold grounds (fols. 11r, 11v); eighty-five smaller framed initials [2-4 ll.] for the various text sections with, as infill, foliage coils, single leaves and geometric patterns on gold, red and blue grounds, but one has been cut out on fol. 11v; Common Preface and Canon Prayer written in large capitals in alternating lines of red and blue.


History note: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem; formerly fols. 70-83 in Rome, Biblioteca Angelica, MS 477; purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904) in Rome in 1892; his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


12th Century, second quarter
Circa 1128 CE - Circa 1130 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: 'resurrectionis domini nostri ihesu christi' (Prefaces)
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 49
Primary reference Number: 93561
Project ID: 791
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 29 February 2024 Last processed: Thursday 29 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Fragment from a Sacramentary" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-25 05:55:22

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