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Psalm 80 With Jacob Wrestling The Angel And The Presentation In The Temple, In The Egerton Psalter

Psalm 80 With Jacob Wrestling The Angel And The Presentation In The Temple, In The Egerton Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 1066

Item number: f.62v

Length: 30.2

Width: 18.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A psalter's origins can often be 'tracked' by the saints' names given 'red-letter' treatment in its calendar, because regions and towns commemorated their local saints. Other features of a psalter, such as types of prayers and styles or types of pictures, can connect it with a location. The Egerton Psalter, however, tells us little. Some link with Norwich is indicated by the calendar's special treatment of Felix of Dunwich, and more clues are given by another kind of evidence, later ownership. Its calendar notes deaths of members of the Holbrook and King families in the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as of William Pepyr, Vicar of Metyngham in the 14th century, supporting its early connections with East Anglia. The first letter of Psalm 80 / 81 ("Sing for joy to God") has pictures of Jacob wrestling the angel--probably because of mention of Jacob in its first verses--and the Presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:21-30), which is a very unusual combination and difficult to understand why the two were paired. The Presentation scene, however, has conventional features, with the Virgin holding the Child over the altar before Simon and Joseph holding the small cage of doves, the traditional offering.

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