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May, In The Calendar Of The 'Alphonso' Psalter

May, In The Calendar Of The 'Alphonso' Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1284

Shelfmark: Additional MS 24686

Item number: f.7r

Length: 23.9

Width: 15.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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. After Alphonso's death the psalter passed to the daughter of Edward I, Elizabeth, who may have used it as a personal prayerbook. Elizabeth married twice: first to John, Count of Holland, and then to Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, whose arms appear among the decoration at the beginning of the book. An inscription on the page (in brown ink, beginning "Obit") records Elizabeth's death (1316).

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