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PSALTER

MRJ number: 
233
College classmark: 
K.30

Vellum, 9.25 x 6.75, ff. 134, 20 lines to a page.  12th – 13th cent., in a fine hand.  Vellum wrapper.

Donor, T. Baker.

Collation : 16 28 (+ 1*) 38 – 178 (wants 8).

Contents:

Kalendar in black, red, green and blue .               .               .         f.    1

Psalter        .               .               .               .               .               .               .               7b

Cantica       .               .               .               .               .               .               .               123b

Ending imperfectly in Quicunque uult.

In the Kalendar:

 

Feb.

 

Mar.

 

 

 

 

Ap.

 

May

 

June

 

 

 

 

July

 

 

 

 

Aug.

 1.

28.

 1.

 2.

17.

20.

23.

11.

24.

 7.

26.

16.

17.

21.

22.

23.

 2.

 7.

 8.

13.

28.

 5.

Brigide V.

Oswaldi archiep.

Albini.

Ceadde Ep. C.

Patrick, added late (xv, xvi).

Cuthbert, in red.

Victoriani M.

Guthlaci presb.

Wilfridi Archiep., in green.

Joh. archiep. de beuerlaco, in red.

Augustini angl. Ep., in blue.

Transl. S. Ricardi, added late.

Botulfi Abb., in green.

Leofridi abb.

Albani M., in red.

Etheldride V.

Suuithuni Ep., in red.

Transl. S. Thome, added late.

Grimbaldi C.

Mildride V.

Samsonis Ep., added late.

Oswaldi.

Aug.

 

Sept.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov.

 

 

Dec.

20.

31.

 1.

 3.

 5.

13.

17.

25.

 1.

 

 2.

 9.

11.

12.

15.

17.

 3.

 6.

20.

 3.

17.

Phileberti C.

Paulini Ep.

Egidii Abb., in blue.

Antonini.

Bertini Abb.

Maurilii Ep.

Lamberti M.

Firmini.

Remigii Germani Vedasti

  Amandi Bauonis.

Leodegarii Ep.

Denis, etc., in red.

Nichasii M.

Wlfridi Ep.

Wlfranni Ep.

Edeldride V.

Rumaldi Archiep.

Leonard, in green.

Aedmundi R. M., in red.

Birini Ep. C.

Victorii et Victoriani.

 

 This looks like the Kalendar of an English dependency of a French abbey.

On the fore edges are painted shields, now very faint: one has or some lions rampant gules, another apparently gules a lion rampant sable or azure. 

The ornament is of fine quality.

In the Kalendar the initial to each month has a picture of the occupation on gold ground: the sign is in a medallion with gold border and coloured ground alternately blue and red. 

 

Jan.    Janus-headed figure at table drinks out of horn and holds a bird(?) on a

               spit upright.

            Aquarius running pours water out of green jar.

Feb.    holds up his boot and warms his foot at fire on R.  Pisces.

Mar.   digs.  Aries.

Apr.      Woman holds flowering branch.  Taurus, red.

May.   Youth on horse, hawk on hand, rides to L.

            Gemini in blue cloaks over red hold a green shield.

June   cuts herbs, with hook and cleft staff.

            Cancer, ridiculous: eight-legged.

July    with scythe.  Leo, dark blue.

Aug.    Two men, one holds sickle and looks up, one reaps.

            Virgo holds flowering branch.

Sept.   threshes.  Libra held by man in blue tunic.

Oct.     sows: he has green basket with wooden bands.

            Scorpius, a winged dragon perched on a rock.

Nov.    gathers fruit into basket, with knife.

            Sagittarius, centaur, shoots back to R.

Dec.    kills black pig with back of axe.

            Capricorn with fish’s tail.

The frontispiece to the Psalter (7b) is a very fine full-page B, principally in pink, gold and blue on dark blue ground, outside which is a band of patterned gold: beyond this are borders of pink and blue.  At the angles medallions, each containing two birds.  The B is filled with fine interlacings of conventional foliage.

Each Psalm has a very handsome initial in colour on gold ground, set in a square alternately of pink and blue.  Several contain birds or animals, and a good many dragons or other monsters.  The following are specially noteworthy:

 

f. 20b.   Celi enarrant.  Monkey eating apple.

f. 24.   Dominus regit me.  Bust of woman, full-face, in red robe.

f. 26.   Dominus illuminatio.  Large and fine decorative initial.

f. 35.   Noli emulari.  Bust of demon.

f. 37.   Domine ne in furore.  Bust of negro facing L.: fine.

f. 38.   Dixi custodiam.  Large, decorative.

f. 40b.   Bust of bearded man.

f. 44.   Monkey eating apple.

f. 44b.   Bust of woman.

f. 48b.   Quid gloriaris.  Large, decorative.

f. 49a.   Dixit insipiens.                               Juggler throwing up sticks (5).

f. 49b.   Bust of king.

f. 53.   Bust of woman.   54b.  Demon.  55.  Bust of man.

f. 56.   Two cats.

f. 57.  Mailed man holding up banner on which in white letters is GOLIE.

f. 57b.   Bust of man in cap.

f. 59b.   Salvum me fac.  Large, decorative.

f. 63.   Bust of tonsured man.   63b (64b).   Bust of bishop.

f. 67.   Bust of young man in cap: good.

f. 72.   Bust of young bearded man.

f. 72b.   Exultate.  Large, decorative.

f. 73b.   Squirrel.   76b.   Two busts of men.   83.   Bust of man.

f. 83b.   Horse’s head.   84b.   Cantate.   Large, decorative.

f. 86.   Domine exaudi.   In four half-circles, David with harp and 3 other musicians with fiddle, pipes, and large viol.   Man and dragon outside.

f. 90.   Bust of Christ blessing.   f.91b.   Bust of the Virgin nimbed.

f. 95b.   Bust of man looking upward.

f. 97b.   Dixit Dominus.  Large, decorative.  Outside, king with blank scroll.

f. 98.   Bust of bishop.  On the margin here a careful pencil sketch, xvi, of the bust of a mitred bishop, bearded: above is written B. Juell.

f. 100b.   Bust of youth.   104.   Bust of monk.   104b.   Cat.   106b.   Man with scroll.

f. 108.   Busts of demon, and man.   110b.   Bust of man.   111.   Of king.   114b.   Nude man, upper part.   115b.   Bust of mailed warrior.   116.   Man with sword.   117b.   Man with axe.

f. 120b.   Busts of bishop and king.   124.   Of woman with book.   124b.   Christ blessing.   126b.   Man.   134b, 135.   Man, and bishop.

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

N. J. Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts 1190 - 1250 (Oxford, 1982).

J. C. Webster, The Labors of the Months in Antique and Medieval Art (Chicago, 1938), pp. 92, 171, pl. 59.  (Photographs of 12 scenes of the months on H. 1a to 6b.)

These scenes are very similar to those in the Psalter of St Louis at Leidon University Library MS. Supp. 318 (or 76A).  See Webster, as above, pl. 61.

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