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PSALTER

MRJ number: 
252
College classmark: 
N.19

Vellum, 9 x 6.75, ff. 153, 21 lines to a page.  Late 13th cent., finely written, with rough but good decoration.

Bookplate of Sir S. Prime.

Collation :  16 (wants 1) 24 38 – 78 (wants 1) 88 - 208 21? (one left).

Contents:

Kalendar (wanting Jan., Feb.) in red and black   .               .               .         f.    1

Four full-page pictures on one side of the leaf, the blank sides

    scribbled with receipts, etc.                .               .               .               .               6

Psalter        .               .               .               .               .               .               .               10

Cantica, ending with one leaf of the Litany         .               .               .               140

 

In the Kalendar:

Mar.

May

June

Sept.

Oct.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov.

 

Dec.

17.

11.

 7.

25.

 1.

 2.

13.

14.

22.

26.

 7.

 

 1.

14.

Girtrudis V.

Fremundi reg. m., added.

Added, Obitus Eue Tibotots.

Firmin.

Remigii, Germani, Bauonis.

Leodegarii.

Eadwardi reg. C., added.

Donatiani Ep.

Seueri Ep.   23.  Seuerini Ep.   24.  Vitalis Ep.

Amandi Ep.

Willibrordi Ep.

The two Edmunds added.

Eligii C.

Nicasii Ep.

 

The Litany is mutilated and the invocations of saints wholly gone.

The provenance is probably the lower Rhine.

On the blank sides of ff. 6 –9 are various entries:

Three receipts (xiii late) in French.

Note:

Anno domini 1544.  Obsesa erat villa bolonie per henricum octauum Regem anglie et ab ipso Rege capta ... septembris eodem anno Rege presente.

 

An erased note.

Notes of storms, etc., dated (one in 1576) “about Caunterbury.”

On f. 80, before Exultate, on a page and a half left blank, is the hymn:

                     Iuste iudex Ihesu Christe rex regum et domine,

and some other prayers.

The pictures are rough but carefully done.

Those in the Kalendar are in gold frames usually peaked at top, the grounds alternately blue and pink.

 

Mar.    Man cutting branches off a tree.                      Ap.    Youth holding two branches.

May.    Youth holding hawk and jesses.                      June.    Carrying faggot for bonfire.

July.    Mowing.               Aug.    Reaping.                    Sept.    Sowing.

Oct.    Gathering grapes.                 Nov.  with bough which he is about to throw into a tree: pigs feeding.

Dec.    Kills pig with back of axe.

 

The full-page pictures have gold grounds and rather elaborate architectural tops:  frames of blue and pink with lozenges at corners.

 

1.    Annunciation.  Two trefoil arches.  Gabriel stands on L.

2.    Nativity.  Virgin reclines, reading book.  Joseph on R. sits sleeping.  Ox and ass and swaddled child in manger in C.  Curtains behind.

3.    Crucifixion, with Virgin and John.  Christ’s side wounded.  Sun and moon in sky.

4.  Initial B.  Christ stands holding tripartite globe and blessing; face R.  Sun and moon in cloud: tree on R.

 

Each Psalm has gold initial with pink and blue ground and a long thick tail of three colours spreading up and down.  The historiated initials are:  

 

Dominus illum.  Beardless nimbed figure seated.

Dixi custodiam.  Gone.

Quid gloriaris.  Beardless figure as before, with raised hands.

Dixit insipiens.                          seated full face, defaced.

Saluum me fac.  Beardless figure.

Exultate.  Bearded figure.  Cantate.  Beardless figure.  Domine exaudi.  Similar.

            Dixit Dominus.  Similar.

 

The book closely resembles in aspect (and especially in the Kalendar pictures) a Psalter at Magdelene College, no. 8 in my Catalogue.

Supplementary information 

Lillian M. C. Randall, 'Flemish Psalters in the Apostolic Tradition', Gatherings in Honour of Dorothy E. Miner, eds Ursula E. McCracken, Lilian M. C. Randall and Richard H. Randall, Jr (Baltimore, 1974).  Copy in St John's College Library.

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