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Van der Weyden, Descent from the Cross
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MS 65

Described by: Stephen Kelly
Revision Date: June 1st, 2010


Incomplete copy of Love's Mirror, c. 1450.

Condition of the MS

Incomplete, ending on Folio 123 verso. Repaired, probably when rebound. Significant corner and page damage indicates handling.

Number of Items

One: incomplete version of Love's Mirror

Title(s) of Pseudo-Bonaventuran Text(s)

"The boke that is clepid the mirroure of the blessyd lyfe of Jesu Cryst"


Table of contents begins (in red ink): "The beginnyng of the proheme of the boke that is clepid the mirrour of the blyssed lyfe of Iesu", fol. 1v.



Secundo Folio




Languages of the MS


Detailed Description of Contents

  • Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, ends imperfectly, Sargent, 205:12 "of ├że".

Estimated Date of Production

Dated by pencil addition, inner flyleaf: "c. 1450." Accords with hand.

Writing Support

Mixed vellum and paper; printed on inner flyleaf: "bound by Riviere". Bound in Moroccan Brown.


ii + 123 fols

Dimensions of Page and Writing Space

  • Leaf size: 250 x 170 mm
  • Writing Space: 160 x 125 mm (sometimes a larger frame, eg. fol. 67v where the number of lines also increases)




1 column; generally 28-30 lines per page. Increased to up to 35 lines (eg. 67v).

Rubrication/ Ordinatio

  • Initials: Initials for divisions and chapter were largely not completed.
  • Headings, rubrication etc.: Simple running headers, eg. 'Die Lune'; red ink used in phrases and sentences usually marked in the Mirror (italacised in Sargent's edition).
  • Other: Paraph marks have sometimes been adorned with further illustration (eg. 79r, the line extending horizontally from the right top of the paraph forms a [monk's?] head).


The scribe produces extravagant top and lower line ascenders/descenders, with faces and other shapes formed. It is possible that these are clues as to the notarial training of the scribe (see Sargent, intro. p. 112, n. 39).

Number of Scribal Hands


Style of Hands


Estimated Date of Hands


Scribal Annotation

The MS lacks the marginal apparatus.

Notable Dialect Features


Localisable on Google Earth
(click markers to view sample dialect forms)


Annotation and Marginalia

Many marks beside the text, usually simple crosses, indicate interest in the text, or mark points for contemplative pause.


A number of pen-trials and sometimes incoherent marginal writing throughout.

Names recorded, signatures, ex libris marks

  • Fol. 1r: 'William Goring' or 'Loring', C16.
  • Fol. 1v: 'William Bosson'; the name 'John Basson' (or 'Bosson') occurs on fol. 112v.


There is a pattern of bleeding of ink at various points of the text, particularly from the Passion to Resurrection, that appears to indicate a dripping of liquid onto over the text- this dripping might be attributed to the tears of a reader.

References and Other Resources

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign online catalogue: view the entry online

C. U. Faye and W. H. Bond, Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1962), p.169, no.65.

Sargent Groupings


Sargent Pages

Intro 112.

Sargent Number



Please note: Descriptions of Mirror MSS are indebted to: Nicholas Love, The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ: A Full Critical Edition, ed. by Michael G. Sargent (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2005)