top of page
The McCarthy Collection: French Miniatures

The McCarthy Collection: French Miniatures


This is Vol III. See Vol I here and Vol II here


This substantial catalogue is the final of a three-volume set exploring a remarkable collection of leaves and miniatures from medieval manuscripts. Richly detailed with plentiful illustrations, this notable contribution to medieval scholarship describes French material from c. 1100 to the 15th century, with particular strength in the 13th and 14th centuries. 


The McCarthy collection is arguably the largest and most important private collection of illuminated cuttings, miniatures, and leaves in the world. Following the publication in 2018 of Italian and Byzantine Miniatures and in 2019 Spanish, English, Flemish and Central European Miniatures, the third volume covers illumination from France. 


Volume I (published 2018) has eighty Italian and eight Byzantine entries; Volume II (published 2019) is the smallest, with sixty-three entries, divided between eight Spanish (and perhaps Portuguese) entries, eleven English ones, ten from the southern Netherlands, and finally thirty-four from across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bohemia; the present volume is the largest, with approximately ninety-five French entries. The fact that the French material is the largest group overall is partly a reflection of Robert McCarthy’s early interest in French Gothic art, inspired by youthful visits to Chartres and other Gothic cathedrals. 


In many cases the recto and verso of each item is reproduced, as the verso often provides vital textual, palaeographical or art historical clues to the date and place of origin, or traces of a later provenance and lists parent volumes, sister leaves and cuttings, some of which are also reproduced. 

  • Peter Kidd

    April 2021 

    Published by Ad Ilissvm 

    300 x 240 mm, hardcover

    336 pages, 350 colour illus.

    ISBN: 978-1-912168-18-7

  • About the author

    Peter Kidd is a specialist in medieval manuscripts, with a particular focus on cataloguing and provenance research of illuminated books, leaves, and cuttings. He has written catalogues for The Queen’s College, Oxford, the Bodleian Library, the Huntington Library, and the Library of the College of Physicians, Philadelphia, as well as dealers and auction houses. He has contributed to the commentaries on a number of facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts, including the 12th-century English St Albans Psalter, and was Curator of a loan exhibition from the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, to Washington, D.C., and New York.

  • In the press

    "Among the most accurate, systematic, and careful examples of their kind ever produced .. . a model of the genre." –Fragmentology: A Journal for the Study of Medieval Manuscript Fragments (vols 2 & 3)


    "The McCarthy Collection ... deserves to be better known, as it certainly will be following the publication of this luxurious and extensively illustrated three-volume catalogue. Not limited to a single period or country, the collection offers a panorama of European illumination from the ninth century to the fifteenth ... These catalogues are an important addition not just to field of fragmentology, but to manuscript studies as a whole and will form an invaluable jumping off point to further research." —The Burlington 


    "Large and beautifully illustrated" —The Medieval Review


    "Even a small sample shows how this catalogue (and the series as a whole) represents a meritorious and successful cultural undertaking that makes available to scholars a collection distinguished by both size and quality, and which will hopefully stimulate the critical cataloguing of other private collections."  —Medioevo Romanzo


bottom of page