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Walters Ms. W.70, Misbound liturgical Psalter
Misbound liturgical Psalter
This Gallican Psalter was created in the diocese of Constance, Southern Germany, in the first half of the thirteenth century. The psalms, which originally had an eight-part liturgical division, have been badly misbound, and approximately half of them are lost entirely. Extensively illuminated with over 100 historiated, inhabited, and decorated initials, the manuscript is impressive even in its fragmentary state. The saints found in the litany help locate the manuscript to Constance, and also suggest Cistercian use. That the manuscript was well used is attested to by late thirteenth-century additions of antiphons in the margins, as well as an added German meditation on the Passion of the same period.
First half of the 13th century CE
The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.
Heavy, well-finished cream-colored parchment
Flyleaves are modern parchment; modern pencil foliation, upper and lower right corners, rectos
Formula: 1(12), 2(10), 3(8), 4(6), 5-8(8)
Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 13(2), 23(3), 31(4), 37(5), 45(6), 53(7), 61(8)
15.3 cm wide by 22.0 cm high
11.0 cm wide by 15.6 cm high
- Columns: 1
- Ruled lines: 19
- Ruled in plummet (only faintly visible)
- Title: Psalter
- Text note: Manuscript is incomplete and badly misbound; the correct order has been reconstructed in the part dedicated to the psalms
- Hand note: Formal gothic bookhand; marginal antiphons in a later gothic hand
- Decoration note: Seventeen historiated initials (3-4 lines); two large decorated initials (7-8 lines); eighty-three small inhabited or decorated initials with grotesques, animals, or foliage (3 lines); initials mainly in pink, blue, and/or red with white accents on burnished gold grounds; small initials throughout (1 line) in alternating red and blue with penwork decoration of the reverse color; incipits for Psalms 80 and 109 in gold; some incipits in red, or alternating red and blue or black letters; first initial of each line in litany in alternating red and blue; rubrics in red and occasionally gold; text in black ink
- Title: Psalms
- Incipit: Dixit dominus domino meo
- Contents: Psalms are misbound and incomplete; correct order of contents as follows: [missing Psalms 1-70:16] fols. 13r-22v: Psalms 70:16 (iusticiae)-79:2 (qui[deducis]); fols. 2r-11v: Psalms 79:2 (sedes)-90:10 (appro[pinquabit]); [missing Psalms 90:10-101:16] fols. 23r-33r: Psalms 101:16 (timebunt)-108; fols. 1 and 12 are a bifolium: Psalms 109-113:9 (super); fols. 34r-52v: Psalms 113:9 (misericordia)-139:5 (meas); [missing Psalms 139:6-150]
- Decoration note: Historiated initials fols. 3v, 7r, 17r, 22r, 35r, 37v, 42v, 45v, 46v, 47r-v, 50r, 51r, and 52v; decorated initials throughout
- Title: Canticles, the Lord's prayer, and creeds
- Rubric: Canticum Ysaiae.
- Incipit: Confitebor tibi
- Contents: Fols. 53r-62r: Canticles of Isaiah; fol. 62r: Lord's Prayer; fol. 62r-v: Apostle's Creed; fols. 62v-64r: Athanasian Creed
- Decoration note: Historiated initials 53r, 56r, and 62v; decorated initials throughout
- Title: Litany, petitions, and collects
- Incipit: Kyrieleison
- Contents: Fols. 64r-65v: litany, notable saints include those for Constance and several Cistercian: SS. Pelagius, Malachia (Cistercian), Peter (possibly Peter, Bishop of Tarentas, Cistercian), Conrad (Bishop of Constance), Robert (Cistercian), Regula (venerated in Constance), Wiborada, Verena; fols. 65v-67r: petitions; fols. 67v-68r: collects
- Decoration note: Decorated initials throughout
- Title: Meditation on the Passion
- Incipit: Der sinv zit nuzzecliche
- Text note: Meditation on the Passion added in German on the final blank folio, late thirteenth century, ends imperfectly (zu dinem reinem munde. dich durste...)
- Hand note: Compact scholastic script; different, slightly later hand than rest of manuscript
- Title: Foliate initial "D" marking liturgical division
- Form: Decorated initial "D," 8 lines
- Text: Psalm 109
- Title: Foliate initial "E" with bird-headed fish marking liturgical division
- Form: Inhabited initial "E," 7 lines
- Text: Psalm 80
- Title: Initial "D" with a Jewish priest
- Form: Historiated initial "D," 3 lines
- Text: Canticle of Habakkuk
The binding is not original.
Late nineteenth-or early twentieth-century binding by Léon Gruel, Paris; red velvet over millboard(?); page edges are gilded
Created in the first half of the thirteenth century for use in the diocese of Constance in Southern Germany; saints in litany suggest was possibly Cistercian (SS. Robert, Malachie, and Peter)
Léon Gruel and Robert Engelmann collection, Paris, late nineteenth century, no. 394
Léon Gruel collection, Paris, before 1905, no. 2
Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel, 1905
Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest
De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 769, cat. no. 79.
Baltimore Museum of Art. 2,000 Years of Calligraphy: A Three-Part Exhibition. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1965, 1972, cat. no. 26.
Catalogers: Dutschke, Consuelo; Sciacca, Christine; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934
Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William
Copy editor: Dibble, Charles
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Klemm, Elizabeth; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.
The Walters Art Museum
Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-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.