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In your search: Category:illuminated*


Bible (part: New Testament and Sapiential Books)

Maker(s) &

, production, France, Northern France, possibly Northern France


illuminated manuscript


Bible (part: New Testament and Sapiential Books)


circa 1200 circa 1220


13th Century


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iv medieval parchment flyleaves (foliated i-iv) + 325 fols. + iv medieval parchment flyleaves (foliated v-viii), 170 x 115 mm (102 x 70 mm, except fols. 272-325, 115 x 70 mm), two columns, 30 lines written above top line (fols. 1-271), 36 lines written below top line (fols. 272r-325r), ruled in plummet, running headers, quire marks, catchwords, leaf lost after fol. 207, tabs marking the beginning of the four Gospels and the Apocalypse

BINDING: German, late fifteenth century (see Comments), blind-tooled white pigskin over wooden boards, sewn on four supports, two leather straps with brass attachments on lower cover, upper strap preserving brass clasp, two brass catch plates on upper cover, endbands of green, red and white thread, title Novum Testamentum inscribed in brown ink on front fore-edge

SECUNDO FOLIO: qui vocatur Christus

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fols. 1r-271r New Testament with Prologues and Arguments
fols. 272r-325r Sapiential Books (Proverbs-Ecclesiasticus) with Prologues and Arguments (slightly later addition)

Five historiated initials in gold, blue, red and green on gold grounds with foliate motifs, including acanthus, and dragons, framed in red and outlined in black, with the remainder of the first words written in gold on pink and blue grounds ornamented in white: fol. 1v Matt, [L, 17 ll.] St Matthew seated with scroll, gazing at angel emerging from cloud, with blessing Christ above and dragon below; fol. 37r Mark, [I, 13 ll.] St Mark standing, holding scroll and looking at the head of an ox (the symbols of Saints Mark and Luke have been transposed); fol. 61r Luke, [Q, 10 ll.] St Luke seated, writing on scroll at desk, looking over his shoulder at an angel, lion’s head on left; fol. 100v John, [I, 15 ll.] St John seated, writing on scroll, looking at angel descending from outside the bounds of the frame; fol. 255v Apoc, [A, 9 ll.] St John seated, writing on scroll and looking up at an angel emptying a vial.

Illuminated initials [3-14 ll.] with foliage infill in gold, blue, red and green on gold, blue and pink grounds, framed in green, red, and occasionally gold, outlined in black, frequently incorporating mask heads and dragons (e.g. fols. 1r, 129r), with the remainder of the first words often written in gold on pink and blue grounds ornamented in white for the prologues and for most New Testament books; pink and blue initials [4-20 ll.] on gold grounds, in a different, slightly later style for Sapiential books and prologues, with foliate and occasional dragon or bird motifs (e.g. fols. 272r, 301v); gold initials [2-12 ll.] on alternate blue and pale rose grounds ornamented in white and outlined in black for paragraphs of New Testament books; gold initials [2 ll.] filled with blue or pink, ornamented with white, on alternate pink or blue panels for chapters of Sapiential books; occasional red initials [4 ll.] for paragraphs of New Testament books; alternate red and blue capitals for running headers; one-line alternate red and blue roman numerals for chapters; capitals highlighted in red (fols. 1r-5r).


egg tempura


parchment; support
iron gall ink; medium
pigment; medium
gold; medium


height, page, 175, mm
width, page, 115, mm
height, text, 102, mm
width, text, 70, mm
height, text (fols. 272-325), 115, mm
width, text (fols. 272-325), 70, mm


given; 1975; Davis, Henry


Given by Johann von Marienberg, alias Falck, to Henricus Virsensis Smeitz in 1570, according to a note on fol. i recto: Ex liberalitate honesti domini Johannis Montis Mariae alias Falck Henricus Virsensis Smeitz factus sum possessor Anno 1570 ipso die Sancti Nicolai episcopi; purchased by Charles William Dyson Perrins (1864-1958) at Sotheby’s, London, 9 December 1904, lot 672 (bookplate on fol. i verso, two round labels with number 7 (fol. i verso) and 62 (fol. viii recto); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 1 December 1959, lot 63; Henry Davis (1897-1977); his gift, 1975.


Smeitz, Henricus Virsesis; previous owner; given to him in 1570 by Johann von Marienberg, alias Falck, with his ownership note on flyleaf
Dyson Perrins, C.W.; previous owner; Lot 672 at Sotheby's 9 Dec. 1904/ Dyson Perrins' label on verso of first flyleaf

Acquisition Credit:

Given by Henry Davis


second folio; qui vocatur Christus


Wormald, F. and Giles, P. M.. 1982. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.Cambridge (Cambs.): p. 595

Warner, G. F.. 1920. Descriptive catalogue of illuminated manuscripts in the Library of C.W. Dyson Perrins.Oxford: p. 31-32
I, 31-32, no.7, II, pl. VIII a-b

Jackson, D. Morgan, Nigel. Panayotova, Stella. 2015. Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges - Part Three. France. Vol. 1: France, c.1000-c.1250.London: Harvey Miller/Brepols, #cat. no. 67


Object Number: MS 1059-1975
(Manuscripts and Printed Books)
(record id: 118716; input: 2005-05-31; modified: 2016-12-01)


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