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Psalter: MS 15

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + 148 fols. + i paper flyleaf, 190 x 133 mm (120 x 76 mm), 22 long lines, ruled in brown ink, quire and leaf signatures, vertical catchwords, leaves lost before fols. 1, 20, 47, 105

BINDING: Late eighteenth century, gold-stamped brown leather over pasteboards, edges gilt and gauffered

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-136v Psalter (Gallican, incomplete, lacking Ps 23:8 – 26:1, Ps 51:7 – 53:3, Ps 108:18 – 109:2); fols. 137r-148v Canticles and Quicumque vult

DECORATION: Half-page framed miniature: fol. 1r Psalm 1, David playing psaltery in a landscape, with full foliate border on blue ground containing classicizing architectural motifs, two monochrome and gold ink vignettes showing a standing figure and King David writing, an antique style medallion with monochrome and gold ink female profile, and lower bar showing putti in a landscape playing music and supporting a blank shield surrounded by cornucopiae with garlands and furit

Four historiated initials (out of original seven) in blue and buff with acanthus extensions on gold ground, and full floral and acanthus borders on plain parchment grounds (except fol. 34r, gold ground), containing classicising motifs (gems, pearls, vases, cornucopiae), some of them painted in gold ink on coloured grounds in the corner compartments, for the psalms of the eight-fold division: fol. 34r Psalm 38, [D, 7 ll.] Turbaned man walking in a landscape; fol. 59r Psalm 68, [S, 7 ll.] Penitent David standing in water; fol. 75r Psalm 80, [E, 7 ll.] David playing psaltery, antique coin with a male profile wearing a laurel wreath in outer border ; fol. 90r Psalm 90, [C, 7 ll. Three youths singing out of a book.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [2 ll.] on blue, mauve and green grounds with white and yellow abstract patterns; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with violet or red pen flourishing.

Place(s) associated

  • Venice ⪼ Italy
  • Padua ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


15th Century, Mid-Late#
Circa 1470 CE - Circa 1480 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [subsana]bit eos
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 15
Primary reference Number: 178789
Project ID: 282
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Psalter" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 14:43:33

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{{cite web|url= |title=Psalter |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 14:43:33|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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