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Historiated Initial With Monks Chanting, In The Coldingham Breviary

Historiated Initial With Monks Chanting, In The Coldingham Breviary

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1275

Shelfmark: Harley MS 4664

Item number: f.157v

Length: 25.7

Width: 17.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Various kinds of evidence in this Breviary shows that it was made for Coldingham Priory, about 10 miles north of Berwick-on-Tweed, in Scotland, perhaps at Durham: the abbey was a cell of Durham Cathedral Priory. The manuscript was certainly owned by a monk of Durham in the 16th century. Psalm 97 begins 'Sing unto the Lord a new song' and is often illustrated in English (and Scottish) medieval manuscripts with an image of monks singing from a large choirbook resting on a lectern. In this image the book is held in the hands of one of the monks, and looks as if it is about the same size as the present Breviary.

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