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Detailed record for Harley 2899

Title Psalter (the 'Psalter of Queen Philippa'), with a calendar (ff. 2-7v), Psalms (ff. 8-109), Canticles (ff. 109-116v), prayers and litany
Origin England
Date between 1328 and 1340
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials and partial bar borders in gold, red, blue, and white, some with white flowers, figures, masks, animals, or hybrids, in the calendar (ff. 2-7v). Historiated initial and 3-sided border in colours and gold at the beginning of Psalm 1 (f. 8). Historiated initials and full bar borders at the beginning of the other major Psalm divisions of 26, 38, 52, 68, 80, 97, 109 (ff. 25, 34v, 44, 53, 64, 75, 86v). Decorated or historiated initials with foliate forms in colours and gold at the beginning of the other Psalms and Canticles, including faces, heraldry, and animals. Small initials in gold on blue, red, and white grounds. Line-fillers in blue and gold or red and gold and white, some with white flowers, fish, or faces.
Dimensions in mm 250 x 165 (170 x 100)
Official foliation ff. 123 ( + 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves and 1 parchment flyleaf at the beginning and 2 parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves after f. 1)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Red 'Harleian' binding with extensive gold tooling; marbled end-papers.
Provenance Probably made for Queen Philippa of England between 1328, when she married, and 1340, when Edward III quartered the arms of France: includes the arms of England impaling Hainault (f. 8)(see Sandler 1986).
Added prayers in Latin (ff. 122v-123).
Added text in a 15th-century hand (f. 1).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley '14 die Octobris, A. D. 1723' (f. [iv]).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Musical notation.
The calendar is of Sarum.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2899.

W. R. Tymms and M. D. Wyatt, The Art of Illuminating as Practised in Europe from the Earliest Times (London: Day and Sons, 1860; repr. Studio Editions, 1987), pl. XIV.8.

[George Warner], Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series I, (London: British Museum, 1907), pl. 14.

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Methuen, 1911), p. 231.

Schools of Illumination: Reproductions from Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (London: British Museum, 1914-1930), III: English A.D. 1300 to 1350 (1921), pl. 15.

[J. A. Herbert], Illuminataed Manuscripts and Bindings of Manuscripts Exhibited in The Grenville Library, Guide to the Exhibited Manuscripts, 3 (Oxford: British Museum, 1923), no. 28.

Eric. G. Millar, English Illuminated Manuscripts of the XIVth and XVth Century (Paris: Van Oest, 1928), p. 85.

Joan Evans, English Art 1307-1461, Oxford History of English Art, 5 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1949), p. 49 n. 2.

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 711.

J. J. G. Alexander, 'Painting and Manuscript Illumination for Royal Patrons in the Later Middle Ages', in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. by V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London: Duckworth, 1983), 141-62 (p. 143).

Lucy Freeman Sandler, Gothic Manuscripts 1285-1385, 2 vols, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 5 (London: Harvey Miller, 1986), no. 110.

Tine Melis, ‘An Alexander Manuscript for a Powerful Patron (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 264)’?’, in ’Als Ich Can’: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr. Maurits Smeyers, ed. by Bert Cardon and others, 2 vols (Paris: Uitgeverij Peeters, 2002), pp. 961-81 (p. 973 n. 50).

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 19 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Calendar page

f. 7v
Calendar page
David

f. 8
David
David

f. 8
David
 
Kings

f. 8
Kings
Kings

f. 8
Kings
Kings

f. 8
Kings
 
Anointing of David

f. 34v
Anointing of David
David

f. 34v
David
David

f. 34v
David
 
God

f. 44
God
Christ

f. 53
Christ
God and king

f. 53
God and king
 
King playing bells

f. 64
King playing bells
Monks singing

f. 75
Monks singing
Monks singing

f. 75
Monks singing
 

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