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Psalm 26, in the Huth Psalter

Psalm 26, in the Huth Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Additional MS 38116

Item number: f.35r

Length: 23.7

Width: 15.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Named for its donor, the Huth Psalter reveals its origin by listing in its calendar of feasts and litany Saints Hugh, Wilfrid, and John of Beverly?all associated with Lincoln or York. Medieval psalters could be used publicly in the liturgy or privately as a prayer book, with decoration, calendar and added prayers tailored for the use of an individual or community. Unusual features of its illumination give vivid impressions of contemporary concerns and devotional practices. The historiated initial of Psalm 26 presents a modification of its conventionally associated scene, anointing of David or Solomon. In place of the usual horn from which Samuel would pour the oil upon David?s head, this picture shows a generically robed figure pouring from a large white flask at centre top. Instead of Jesse placing the crown, a mitred bishop bestows a Christian blessing. The margins are decorated with a foliate border inhabited by lively animals.

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