A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Don. a. 11

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)

Former shelfmark: Dep. a. 52


Antiphoners (fragments)

Twelve leaves of several finely illuminated Franciscan (?) antiphoners

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 1; old pagination 1–2)

Temporale. Holy Saturday.

(fol. 3; old pagination 53–54)

Vigil of All Saints.

(fol. 5; old pagination 55–56)

Second (or third) Sunday in September.

(fol. 7; old pagination 63–64)

Temporale. Corpus Christi.

(fol. 9; old pagination 65–66)

Common of Sanctorale. Nativity of many martyrs.

(fol. 11; old pagination 79–80)

Third (or fourth) Sunday in September.

(fol. 13; old pagination 101–102)

Temporale. Second Sunday after Easter.

(fol. 15; old pagination 143–144)

Temporale. Fourth Sunday after Easter.

(fol. 17; old pagination 181–182)

Common of Sanctorale. Nativity of a Virgin.

(fol. 19; old pagination 193–194)

Common of Sanctorale. Office of the Dead.

(fol. 21; old pagination 211–212)

Temporale. Pentecost.

(fol. 23; old pagination 223–224)


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (paper) + 12 leaves, each followed by a paper leaf + iv (paper).
Dimensions (leaf): 585–620 × 410–40 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i-ii, 1–28; early foliations as described under Text.


Not applicable.


Ruled in faint leadpoint, with double vertical bounding lines.


Written in a large formal rounded gothic script.


Rubrics in red ink.

Historiated initials by three main artists:

Mid-14th century: the 'Maestro dei Cartigli', who painted Pisa, Bibl. Capitolare, Cor. ABCD:

  • (fol. 1r) Initial 'A'(lleluya): the Maries (only two) at the sepulchre, on which the angel sits.
  • (fol. 13v) Initial 'D'(ignus): Christ being given a book, while adored by the twenty-four Elders holding phials (cf. Revelation 5:9).
  • (fol. 15v) Initial 'S'(i): captives weeping by the waters of Babylon; the foremost figure, King David, pointing to his tongue, illustrating Psalm 136:6 'adhereat lingua mea faucibus meis ...'.
  • (fol. 21r) Initial 'D'(um): the Apostles at Pentecost.
  • (fol. 23v) Initial 'A'(dorna): Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
  • ? (fol. 7v) Initial 'I'(mmolabit): a sainted priest celebrating mass: the elevation of the host; an open book on the altar inscribed 'simile modo postea qua(m) cena[tum]'.

Later 14th century: the Master of Pisa, Bibl. Capitolare, Cor. E.8; all three initials include Franciscans:

  • (fol. 9r) Initial 'A'(bsterget): three male saints: Francis, a layman, and a bishop.
  • (fol. 17v) Initial 'V'(eni): four female saints: Sts. Catherine, Clare, Monica(?), and Dorothea(??).
  • (fol. 19r) Initial 'C'(redo): the death of St. Francis: his corpse is asperged by a priest, watched by a group of Franciscans.

Late 14th century; an artist who worked on Pisa, Bibl. Capitolare, Cor. B.4 and C.6, and perhaps Pisa, Museo Nazionale, Cor. V:

  • (fol. 3v) Initial 'I'(n): Christ and six saints: Peter, George, Michael, a woman, a bishop, and in the centre John the Baptist holding a scroll inscribed 'Ecce agnus dei | Ecce qui tollit pe[ccata]'.
  • (fol. 5v) Initial 'P'(eto): Tobit blinded by the swallow.
  • (fol. 11v) Initial 'A'(donay): Judith killing Holofernes (stabbing his shoulder, not beheading him).

Foliate initials painted in colours, or in red and blue penwork.


The leaves stab-stitched in 19th-century white parchment, tooled in gilt, over pasteboards.


Origin: 14th century, middle and late ; Italian, Pisa

Provenance and Acquisition

Illuminated by at least three artists who worked in Pisa in the mid- and later 14th century; these leaves probably come from at least three different sets of volumes. Two leaves in the Wallace Collection, London, may come from the same manuscripts.

Later pagination is like that of manuscripts from S. Niccolò, Pisa.

Several of the leaves have numbers and prices inscribed in 19th-century pencil, suggesting that they were being offered for sale individually, before being bound.

Harry Greenwood Butterfield, given to him by a patient in lieu of payment of fees.

Placed on deposit at the Bodleian in 1976 by Butterfield's daughter, Mrs. E. Saint, of Headington, Oxford, and kept under the shelfmark as Dep. a. 52; given to the Library through the Friends of the Bodleian in 1997, and re-referenced as MS. Don. a. 11.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (34 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.