Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51
Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

MS 28 France, s. XV3/4

Chew psalter

1. ff. 1r-4v Calendar of Rouen, graded in gold, red, blue, and brown.

Calendar missing September through December. Among saints listed: translatio Audoeni (1 Feb.); Ausbertus (9 Feb.); dedicatio ecclesiae Audoeni (6 Mar. in gold lettering); translatio Audoeni (5 May); Beatae Mariae de Nivibus (5 Aug.); Audoeni annuale (29 Aug. in gold letters). Each month headed by verses: Principium iani sanctit tropicus capricorni. . . [Walther, Initia 14721]. ff. 5-8 blank (modern parchment).

2. ff. 9r-56v Biblical Psalter begins defectively with Ps. 12.5.

Because the leaves are out of order, Pss. 12.5-17.46 are followed by Pss. 6-12.4. Numeration of Psalms in margin in an almost contemporary hand does not follow the standard Vulgate version. Lacuna between ff. 28 and 29, missing text from Ps. 67.11 up to Ps. 68.19.

3. ff. 56v-61v (no break in text) 12 ferial canticles:

Confitebor tibi domine, Ego dixi in dimidio, Exsultavit cor meum, Cantemus domino gloriose, Domine audivi auditionem, Audite celi [f. 58v] divided at: Ignis succensus est, Te deum, Benedicite omnia opera, Benedictus, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, Quicumque vult ("Fides catholica").

4. ff. 61v-63r Litany followed by prayers;

among the 25 martyrs: Clement, Eustachius, Leodegar, Fabian; among the 34 confessors: Audoenus, Gildarde, Ausberte; among the 22 virgins: Scaveberga, Iuliana, Radegondis, Columba, Austreberta, Bathildis. f. 63v ruled but blank.

Parchment. ff. i-iii (modern parchment, i=front pastedown) + 64 + iii (modern parchment, iii=back pastedown), modern foliation in both upper and lower corners recto. The codex was re-bound incorrectly; ff. 9-10 should follow ff. 11-12. 250 x 187 (173 x 110) mm. Two columns, 38 lines. Ruled in red ink with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines, full length. Calendar 5 columns, single bounding lines in red.

I4 (-1), II6 (-5, 6), III4 (modern parchment), IV8 (-1), V8, VI 8 (-8), VII-X 8, XI2, XII4 (-4).

Written by a single scribe in a fine, upright bâtarde. Marginal notations in a later hand.

Six 6-line initials made of acanthus patterns or dragon grotesques infilled with the same patterns, in camaieu-gris on a gold speckled with black ground outlined in black ink for Psalms 26 (f. 15v), 38 (f. 20r), 52 (f. 24v), 80 (f. 34r), 97 (f. 39v), 109 (f. 45r). Other psalms introduced by similar 2-line initials; verses by similar 1-line initials and line fillers. Calendar headed with 2-line KL monograms in blue shaded monochrome, similar in design. The style of the monochrome initials, typical of Rouen, is similar to Bryn Mawr MS 13 (Pierre Mesenge de Rouen). Headings in red throughout.

Binding: Modern parchment with vellum cords.

Written in France in the fifteenth century probably in Rouen as indicated from the saints in the calendar and the litany. Given that the feast of Our Lady of the Snows (5 Aug.) was introduced at Rouen in 1454 by Guillaume d'Estouteville (Leroquais, LH I.206), the manuscript belongs to the second half or, more probably, the end of the fifteenth century. In upper margin of f. 1r "Bibliothecae B. M. Boni-portus" in ink. Early provenance unknown. Bequeathed to Samuel C. and Lucy Evens Chew by Howard Gray. Given to Bryn Mawr College in 1962 by Samuel C. and Lucy Evans Chew.


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Last Update: June 5, 2003