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Illuminated Psalter, 1330-1350 [manuscript]
Bib ID 2002511
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Online Versions
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1330-1350] 
1 v. (i, 110, ii leaves) : vellum ; 22.8 x 14.8 cm. 

14th-century Psalter, possibly made in London but with a southwest English focus (perhaps Sherborne) to the Calendar; similar foliage to Luttrell Psalter from East Anglia. Northern French Litany customized with a view to Canterbury, London, East Anglia. On inside front cover: annotation '[first word obliterated] Square, April 9, 1898' and underneath the price '£21-15-0'; bookplate of 'J. Blackwood, Greenshieds, Kerse'; an extract from a sales catalogue, entry No. 632, annotated 'Francis Edwards, 1910'; and the seal imprint 'Commonwealth Parliamentary Library - Petherick Collection'. On f.i (recto) is the armorial bookplate of 'Thomas Weld of Brittwell, Oxfordshire'.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 1172.

Script: English littera gothica textualis with some annotations in bastard Anglicana hand.

Layout: One column; 23 lines to the page, except for the calendar which has 32 lines to the page. After f.6v two leaves have been excised. One was probably a miniature, the other appears to have been a document wrapped around the quire.

Binding: Contemporary binding of sheepskin over oak boards with bevelled edges. Remains of two straps and pins fastening onto middle of lower board, in the English fashion. Lacing on four cords and wooden dowel pegs to secure inside boards are all exposed.

Decoration: Black, red and blue entries in the Calendar with the KL in gold, red and blue; red rubrics; large initials in gold. Red and blue with marginal ivy-leaf sprays. Important stylistic feature - border decorations comprising 'unfurled fan of leaves' (see examples on f.22r and f.54r); initial letters are in gold. Late 15th or 16th century fore edge painting, with foliate motifs in red and 'PSALMS' written in English in a Gothic textualis hand in black ink. Indicates the volume was stored, perhaps upright, on shelf (as from late 15th cent.) with fore edge facing outwards.

Calendar: Saints include: Archbishop Edmund; Cuthbert; Dunstan; Edward the Confessor (several times including once in red); Edith; Oswald; Bishop Richard [of Chichester?]; Etheldreda [Ely]; Swithin; Kenelm; Brice; Brigid [whose relics were in Glastonbury]; Alphege of London; Wulfstan; Thomas the Martyr. Saints who point to Southwest England/Sherborne area include: Bathilda/Balthild [an Anglo Saxon slave girl, mentioned in the Sherborne Missal]; Boniface; and Aldhelm [Bishop of Sherborne]. The addition of St Francis indicates a Franciscan devotional focus. Saints indicating Northern France: Remigius; Egidius; and Victor. Corroborating Welsh ownership and of possible significance to the family is the addition on f.1v of Bishop Theliay on 9 Feb, which is the Welsh feast of St Teilo, Bishop of Llandeilo Fawr (Carmathenshire). Llandeilo was an important early Christian centre. Includes a couple of old fashioned saints and has a very specific Somerset/Devon group, which could support the volume having been customized in East Anglia.

A 15th century addition of devotional text on f.110v and f.ii (recto) is in a different hand to the body of the volume, written in bastard Anglicana hand. Possibly added in Wales because of the provincial nature of the script and the Celtic know in one of the line fillers. Thomas Becket not crossed out so probably recusant book Variants on the family name 'Morris' or 'Norris' perhaps, inserted on f.1r of the Calendar, but informally so possibly just pen trials. Obits for the family name 'Morris' inserted on f.2r near the name of 'St Alphege' in the Calendar. A marginal 15th century inscription on f.109v lists the names of the Apostles in Latin. A contemporary repair is evident on f.38r.

The digitisation of this volume was made possible by the generous financial support of donors to the Medieval Manuscripts Appeal (2014). The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges this support.

Also available online

Source of Acquisition Petherick collection. 
Cited In

K.V. Sinclair, Descriptive Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Western Manuscripts in Australia ; p. 9-10.

Subjects Psalters -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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