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Psalm 97, in the Huth Psalter

Psalm 97, in the Huth Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Additional MS 38116

Item number: f.103v

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. Psalm 97 calls for a song of praise. The bow of the initial presents three tonsured clerics before a hymn book on a lectern. One, hand over ear, intones the music and harmonises with his brother, while a third turns pages. Foliate borders provide a loft for lively beasts and birds, including a conspicuous parrot.

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