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Historiated initial from a Cistercian Gradual

  • Object:

    manuscript cutting

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (probably, made)
    Gelderland (probably, made)
    Germany (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1st half 14th century (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case LVLH/MS CUTTINGS/TEMP1

Physical description

Initial R in red with a blue border with six Cistercian monks singing at a lectern. Above them another monk plays an organ. All on burnished gold ground.
Other side: Text too generic to be identified.
‘…leyson. Kyri
[…]eyson. Gloria. Gloria.
[…]yrie. In duplicibus [maioribus written above this rubric]

Place of Origin

Netherlands (probably, made)
Gelderland (probably, made)
Germany (probably, made)


1st half 14th century (made)

Object history note

Part of cuttings purchased in batches from William Henry James Weale in 1883, 95 on 9 April 1883, 258 on 17 April 1883, 20 on 20 February, for the total sum of £96.7.2 (now Museum nos 8972-9042).
A duplicate number MS.192 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.

Cuttings from the same manuscript in the V&A collection: Museum nos 8990A, 8990B, 9005A, 9005B.

Cuttings from the same manuscript in other collections: Christie's London, 6 December 1989, lot 1; formerly Kofler-Truniger collection, Lucerne, and later Jörn Günther Antiquariat, Catalogue 6 (2002), no.27; Sotheby's, 3 December 2013, part of lot 17, and subsequently De Brailes, Catalogue One, no.I and Catalogue Two, no.II; McCarthy Collection, BM1606 and 1607 (see Kidd 2016 and Kidd 2019, no. 23).

Descriptive line

Historiated initial R with Resurrection, Eastern Netherlands (Gelderland or Western Germany), early 14th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 20 (as Flemish, early 14th century).
Catalogue of Miniatures, Leaves, and Cuttings from Illuminated Manuscripts. Victoria and Albert Museum. Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, by S.C. Cockerell and C. Harcourt Smith (London: HMSO, 1923, 2nd edition).
pp. 120-123 in relation to no. 23 (as Eastern Netherlands (Gelderland? or Western Germany), 1st half of the 14th century.
Peter Kidd, The McCarthy Collection. Vol. II: Spanish, English, Flemish and Central European miniatures, London: Ad Ilissum, 2019.
p. 25 (as Flemish, early 14th century).
Catalogue of illuminated manuscripts : Part II, Miniatures, leaves, and cuttings, by S.C. Cockerell and E.F. Strange (London: HMSO, 1908, 1st edition).
Peter Kidd, 'Cuttings from an Early 14th-Century Cistercian Gradual', and 'Cuttings from a Cistercian Gradual' from Manuscript Provenance blog, July 2016 [last accessed 25/03/2020].


Parchment; Pigments; Gold; Ink


Illumination; Writing


Manuscript cutting; Manuscripts; Christianity; Music; Medieval and renaissance

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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