Splendidly illuminated, early French Psalter leaf, c.1260.


Elaborate line fillers including a fish.



Verso:  Single column of text in Latin written in an early gothic bookhand on vellum.  Ruled in red. One large, very fine three-line initial ‘B’ in blue and pink with white highlights on a burnished gold ground and with marginal extensions.  Versal initials alternating in blue and burnished gold with blue and red penwork.  Eleven handsome line fillers alternating in red, blue and gold with different decorative motifs.  


Recto:  As Verso with illuminated versal initials and eight line fillers, including a precisely drawn fish.


Origin:  Northern France.


Date:  c. 1260


Content:   Recto contains most of Psalm 83 (KJV 84) beginning at verse 4 and finishing on Verso.  The illuminated initial ‘B’  on Verso begins Psalm 84 (KJV 85): Benedixisti domine terram tuam; avertisti captivitatem Iacob. Remisisti iniquitatem plebis tuae, operuisit omnia peccata eorum. (Lord thou hast been favourable unto thy land; thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.)  The psalm continues to verse 10.


Condition:  The leaf is in very good/excellent condition with bright and lustrous illuminations on quality vellum. Some very minor gold flaking on a couple of the initials, otherwise remarkably fresh and clean for its age.  It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine. 


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 235x165 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  170x110 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  Packing/post is billed separately: within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas, ask for quote.


Notes:  The psalter was the ancestor of all the books of the Divine Office, including that later medieval text for the laity, the Book of Hours.  Psalters came in plain versions for daily use, as well as highly elaborate illuminated versions - as this example.  It contained texts for declaiming aloud and was chanted repeatedly by the clergy in the course of their liturgical duties. 

Item No:  MOT041

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