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Hawking Scene, In The 'Alphonso' Psalter

Hawking Scene, In The 'Alphonso' Psalter

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1284

Shelfmark: Additional MS 24686

Item number: f.14v

Length: 24.1

Width: 16.5

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. Amongst semi-naturalistic foliage, a huntsman holding his gloves in one hand rides towards his bird of prey, which has caught a duck. This scene of everyday pursuits contrasts with the fire-breathing dragon, and the hybrid creature in the initial at the top of the page.

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