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Historiated Initial With The Judgement Of Solomon, In A Psalter

Historiated Initial With The Judgement Of Solomon, In A Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1220

Shelfmark: Lansdowne MS 431

Item number: f.35v

Length: 33

Width: 21

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The saints commemorated in the calendar and litany of this Psalter point without doubt to its having been made for an Augustinian house in East Anglia, and this house is very likely to have been Barnwell Priory, on the outskirts of Cambridge. In the initial 'D' to Psalm 38 is a depiction of the famous biblical story in which King Solomon discovers the true mother out of two women who both say that a baby is theirs: he suggests cutting the baby in two, so that each mother can have half of the baby, and it is the real mother who reveals herself by saying that she would prefer the other woman to have the infant instead.

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