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Walters Ms. W.35, Psalter, with added Office of the Dead and litany
Psalter, with added Office of the Dead and litany
This manuscript was created in Flanders ca. 1270-80. Originally a standard liturgical Psalter, it was converted in the fourteenth century for the use of an English owner, possibly a cleric, through the addition of a second litany focused on English saints and an Office of the Dead. The illuminations, composed of vignettes depicting labors of the months in the calendar and historiated initials within the psalms themselves, belong to the first phase of production and are characteristic of Psalter iconography from the Bruges-Ghent region during this period.
Ca. 1270-1280 CE
The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.
Heavy, well-prepared parchment
Flyleaves are modern parchment; modern pencil foliation, upper right corners, rectos
Formula: Front flyleaves: i; Quire 1: 6 (fols. 1-6); Quire 2-8: 8 (fols. 7-62); Quire 9: 8, lacking fourth folio (fols. 63-69); Quire 10: 8 (fols. 70-77); Quire 11: 4 (fols. 78-81); Quire 12: 8, lacking first folio but fifth folio added (fols. 82-89); Quires 13-22: 8 (fols. 90-169); Quire 23: 4, with fourth folio cancelled (fols. 170-172); Back flyleaves: i
Comments: Singleton illuminations missing after fols. 6, 40, and 53; in quire 12, the first folio is lost, but the fifth has been added and is hooked and sewn in at fol. 84; in quire 15, the second and seventh folios appear to be guarded; in quire 21, two leaves are misbound, with the third and sixth folios reversed
16.6 cm wide by 22.4 cm high
10.8 cm wide by 15.2 cm high
- Columns: 1
- Ruled lines: 20
- Ruled in plummet; layout different for calendar: six columns, thirty-two lines, written surface 11 x 17.2 cm; layout slightly different for added texts on fols. 162-172: written surface 10.2 x 15 cm; litany fols. 162r-163v: two columns
- Title: Psalter-Hours
- Contents: Psalter with second litany and Office of the Dead added in fourteenth century
- Hand note: Textura; different hands distinguishable in calendar, Psalter proper, and added texts
- Decoration note: One full-page historiated initial missing after fol. 6, and likely several other full-page miniatures missing before major Psalm initials; nine surviving historiated initials (9 lines); twelve calendar vignettes (16-19 calendar lines); enlarged decorative initials in blue, rose, and gold at psalm openings and for "KL" in calendar (3 lines); versals begin with alternating blue and gold initials (1 line); in added texts, fols. 162r-172r: enlarged initials in blue or gold with red or purple pen flourishes (2 lines); smaller initials in same colors in litany (1 line); rubrics in red; text in black ink
- Title: Calendar
- Rubric: Januarius habet dies .xxxi. Luna .xxx.
- Contents: Calendar originally a quarter full, closer to half full with fourteenth-century additions in brown ink; graded in red and black; Egyptian days indicated with a "D;" saints of note include Hilary (Jan. 10), Donatus (Mar. 1), Adrian (Mar. 4), Rufus (Apr. 19), Basil (June 14), Donatus (Aug. 7), Remacle (Sept. 3), Cosmas and Damian (Sept. 27), Bavo (Oct. 1), Benedicta (Oct. 8), All Saints (Nov. 1), All Souls (Nov. 2), Ignatius and "O sapiencia"(Dec. 16); added English saints include Wulstan (Jan. 19), Bathildis (Jan. 31), Edward (Mar. 17), Cuthbert (Mar. 20), Augustine (May 26), and the Feast of Relics (Sept. 15)
- Decoration note: Vignettes for each month
- Title: Liturgical Psalter
- Incipit: ...Qui non abiit
- Contents: Incomplete, lacking opening words of Psalm 1 due to removal of full-page historiated initial; ten-partite Psalter, with divisions at Psalms 1, 26, 38, 51, 52, 68, 80, 97, 101, and 109
- Text note: "Gloria Patri" added to Psalm 79, fol. 81v
- Decoration note: Historiated initials open main psalms (missing before Psalm 1), fols. 27r, 40v, 52v, 53v, 66r, 82r, 96v, 98v, and 112v
- Title: Canticles
- Incipit: Confitebor tibi
- Contents: Misbound; text on fol. 155v continues on fol. 159r, with the intermingled folios containing parts of the litany; fol. 159r-v: Quicumque vult (Athanasian Creed), continues on fols. 157r-158r
- Title: Original litany, petitions, and collects
- Incipit: Kyrieleyson
- Contents: Misbound: litany and petitions begin on fol. 158r-v, continue onto fol. 156r-v, then collects found on fols. 160r-161r (fol. 161v is blank); selection of saints suggest French Flanders, with many from Ghent, Saint-Omer, Soissons, and many female saints; apostles and evangelists: begins with John the Baptist and ends with Luke; sixteen martyrs including Cornelius, Fabian, George, Crispinus, Crispinianus, Dionysius, and Maurice; five church fathers and prophets, being Leo, Martin, Nicholas, Ambrose, and Benedict; four confessors, which are Germanus, Amandus, Medard, and Bertin; twenty-two virgins (beginning on fol. 158v and continuing onto fol. 156r) including Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, Fides, Spes, Christiana, Juliana, Benedicta, Genevieve, Petronilla, Amalberga, Gertrude, Aldegund, Agatha, and Praxedis
- Title: Added litany, petitions, and collects
- Rubric: Letania maior.
- Incipit: Kyrieleison
- Contents: Added in the fourteenth century for a later English user; fols. 162r-163v: church fathers and prophets list John the Baptist alone; twenty-one martyrs include Cornelius, Fabian, Thomas Becket, Albanus, Oswald, Edmund, Dionysius, Maurice, and Hippolytus; twenty monks, hermits, and confessors, including Martialis, Hilary, Audoenus, Dunstan, Swithin, Cuthbert, Botulph, Edward, Erkenwald, Richard, Leonard, and Aegydius; twenty virgins, which include Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, Catherine, Margaret, Agatha, Scholastica, Petronella, Praxedis, Soteris, Prisca, Syth, Afra, Edith, Tecla, Fides, Spes, and Caritas; fols. 163r-164v: petitions; fols. 164v-165v: eight collects
- Title: Prayer to Christ
- Incipit: Suscipe digneris domine
- Text note: Added in the fourteenth century
- Hand note: Script smaller than in added litany and appears to be different hand
- Title: Added Office of the Dead
- Rubric: In vigilia mortuorum antiphone.
- Incipit: Placebo
- Contents: For Sarum use, possibly used by cleric based on contents, such as prayer and invocation meant for a priest (fol. 171v); added in the fourteenth century
- Hand note: Same scribe as added litany
- Title: Man knocking acorns out of tree to feed pigs
- Form: Vignette, 17 lines
- Text: Calendar: November
The binding is not original.
Late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century red velvet binding, likely by Léon Gruel in Paris
Created in Flanders, or possibly French Flanders ca. 1270-80
In England by fourteenth century, as evinced by the obituary of an Englishman named Edmund, son of William Clusin (or Chosin) on August 6 (fol. 4v); litany and Office of the Dead also added at this time, and contents of latter suggest it was used by a cleric
Imperial Russian ownership stamp, with word "Expecto" inscribed within it (fol. 1r), suggests possible Russian ownership, ca. nineteenth century
Léon Gruel, Paris, owned late nineteenth or early twentieth century; his bookplate, and "no. 1448," on front pastedown
Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel before 1931
Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest
De Ricci, S., and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 771, cat. no. 87.
Stones, Margaret A. “Illumination of the French Prose Lancelot in Flanders, Belgium, and Paris, 1250–1340.” PhD diss., University of London, 1970–1971: pp. 98, 447, 497, 502, 506.
Randall, Lilian M. C. "Flemish Psalters in the Apostolic Tradition." In Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy Miner, edited by Ursula E. McCracken, Lilian M. C. Randall, and Richard H. Randall, Jr., 171–93. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1974, figs. 8, 15, 25 (fols. 4v, 96v, 16v).
Carlvant, Kerstin. "Thirteenth-Century Illumination in Bruges and Ghent." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1978: pp. 434, 463.
Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, pt. 1. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997, pp. 16–19, cat. no. 217, figs. 411, 412 (fols. 5v, 66).
Gy, Pierre-Marie. "Bulletin de liturgie." Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 84 (2000): 513-44; p. 520.
Bennett, Adelaide. "Continuity and Change in the Religious Book Culture of the Lowlands in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries." In Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475). Edited by William Noel and Lee Preedy, 167-179. Turnhout Belgium: Brepols, 2002; p. 176.
Nevins, Teresa. "Psalter and Litany." In Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475). Edited by William Noel and Lee Preedy. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2002; pp. 194-195, cat. no. 34.
Bütner, F.O. "Form and History: Der illuminierte Psalter im Westen." In The Illuminated Psalter. Edited by F.O. Bütner, 1-106. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2004; p. 63 (n. 94).
Gil, Marc, and Ludovic Nys. Saint-Omer gothique: les arts figuratifs à Saint-Omer à la fin du Moyen Âge, 1250-1550 : peinture, vitrail, sculpture, arts du livre. Valenciennes Cedex: Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes, 2004; p. 76.
Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.
Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley
Editor: Herbert, Lynley
Copy editor: Dibble, Charles
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Izer, Emily; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber
The Walters Art Museum
Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.