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Prato, Julianus Antonii de; scribe
Nanni, Ser Ricciardo di; artist
; production


illuminated manuscript


book of hours; type of text
use of Rome; liturgical use


circa 1460 circa 1470


fifteenth century, third quarter


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + i parchment flyleaf + 218 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 120 x 85 mm (77 x 42 mm), 13 long lines, ruled in hard point, catchwords, leaves lost between fols. 51-52, 55-56, 179-180, 182-183

BINDING: Eighteenth century, re-used vellum over pasteboards

fols. 1r-88v Hours of the Virgin, with variants for Advent and other seasons (imperfect, missing end of Terce and beginning of Sext, end of Sext and beginning of None)
fol. 89r Formula for blessing before and after reading the lessons
fols. 90r-118v Penitential Psalms and Litany
fols. 119r-169v Office of the Dead
fols. 179v-182r Short Hours of the Cross (begins imperfectly, missing Matins to Terce), with rubricated indulgence of Pope John XXII
fols. 182v-215v Hours of the Passion (begins imperfectly)

DECORATION: Three large historiated initials formed of gold, blue, green and pink bands on blue grounds with delicate white floral patterns, and full borders: fol. 2r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 7 ll.] Virgin adoring the Child who is holding a bird and reclining in the lower curve of the initial, with full white vine-scroll border on blue, green and pink ground sprinkled with triple white dots, surrounded by spraywork with gold balls, and containing birds, putti, a stag, a female bust, five medallions with busts of prophets linked by gold bars, and a laurel wreath in the lower border supported by two dolphins and enclosing a shield of unidentified arms (per fess or and sable, two chains in saltire counterchanged or and azure; possibly a variant of the arms of the Alberti family), impaling the arms of the Ricci (azure semé of stars and hedgehogs); fol. 90r Penitential Psalms, [D, 6 ll.] David penitent, with full floral border containing putti, birds, mythical hybrids, a classicizing vase supported by two rabbits, three busts of prophets within medallions linked by interlaced gold bars, and a quatrefoil showing David beheading Goliath in the lower border; fol. 119r Office of the Dead, [V, 6 ll.] Half-length skeleton, with full white vine-scroll border containing putti, birds, animals, two skulls in medallions, and, in the lower border, a coffin covered by a pall, with three clerics chanting from a book.

Thirteen small historiated initials [4 ll.] in gold on white-patterned blue or pink grounds, enclosing half-length figures of saints or virgins, and accompanied by one-sided white vine-scroll borders on blue, green and pink grounds sprinkled with triple white dots and terminating in spraywork with gold balls (fols. 27r, 41v, 47r, 60v, 70r, 171r, 194r, 198r, 200v, 203r, 205v, 208r, 212r).

Pen drawing of the sacred monogram YHS within a decorative medallion (fol. 88v).

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [2 ll.] on pink, blue and green grounds with geometric pattern in white or yellow; alternate gold and blue one-line initials.

Place (legacy):

Italy, production, region
Florence, place


illumination; whole


parchment; support
gold; medium




given; 1933; Pass, Alfred Aaron de


Probably made for a marriage alliance between the Ricci and Alberti families of Florence (partially identified arms on fol. 2r); Alfred Aaron de Pass (1861-1952); his gift, 1933.


Aaron de Pass, Alfred; previous owner
Ricci family of Florence; previous owner
Alberti family of Florence; previous owner


secundo folio; Incipit officium beate virginis; rubric
secundo folio; Domine labia mea; main text


Splendours of Italian Illumination: Romanesque - Gothic - Renaissance. 1989 - 1990
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Notes: unpublished handlist of an exhibition held in the Adeane gallery, October 1989 - February 1990
Catalogue number: 77


Wormald, F. and Giles, P. M.. 1982. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): p. 328-29

Garzelli, A.. 1985. Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento 1440-1525: un primo censimento..Florence:
pp. 201, 415 n. 146, 508 (App. I, 38, no. 1), fig. 748.

Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. Reynolds, Suzanne. 2011. A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Part Two. Vols. 1-2: Italy and the Iberian Peninsula.London: Harvey Miller Publishers
cat. no. 254


Object Number: MS 336
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 178791; input: 2010-11-27; modified: 2017-04-04)


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