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Historiated Initial With King David Harping, In A Bible With A Calendar

Historiated Initial With King David Harping, In A Bible With A Calendar

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2867

Item number: f.244v

Length: 20.7

Width: 12.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In size this manuscript is not untypical of Bibles that were produced in their hundreds in the 13th century; but it has several very unusual features. For example, the main text of almost all medieval Bibles was written with two columns per page, not one, as we find here. Secondly, this manuscript has a liturgical calendar and a long series of sermon notes between the Old and New Testaments. The calendar has previously been taken to indicate a Dover origin, but Christ Church, Canterbury (of which Dover priory was a cell), is more likely. It was certainly owned by Roger Bennett, a monk of Christ Church in the 15th century. This initial 'B', with David harping at the start of the Psalms, is typical in Psalters and Bibles. A later owner has numbered the psalms in medieval arabic numerals, 1-5, at the outer edge of the left margin.

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