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Saints Anne, Katherine, Margaret, and ?Barbara, Added To The 'Alphonso' Psalter

Saints Anne, Katherine, Margaret, and ?Barbara, Added To The 'Alphonso' Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1310

Shelfmark: Additional MS 24686

Item number: f.2v

Length: 23.9

Width: 15.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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Heraldry on the first page of the Psalms text strongly suggests that this Psalter was commissioned by King Edward I for the marriage of his son Alphonso, to Margaret, daughter of Florent V, Count of Holland, which was to take place in 1284. Alphonso died before the wedding, however, and the decoration of the manuscript was left incomplete. Additions were made in the early 14th century, probably before 1316. St. Anne is often represented in medieval art teaching her daughter, the Virgin Mary, to read; St. Katherine holds the wheel on which she was tortured and the sword with which she was beheaded; St. Margaret is victorious over the dragon that swallowed her; and the final saint, dressed as a nun, cannot be identified with certainty, but a 15th-century reader has written St. Barbara below her feet in the lower margin.

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