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Historiated Initial To The Office Of The Dead, In The 'Princess Joan Psalter'

Historiated Initial To The Office Of The Dead, In The 'Princess Joan Psalter'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1405

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 B.viii

Item number: f.144r

Length: 27.5

Width: 18.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The computistical materials at the beginning of this manuscript were drawn up in 1380 at the request of the mother of Richard II, Lady Joan Holland. It used to be thought that this was the original presentation copy made for Joan, hence the name the 'Princess Joan Psalter'. Two of its historiated initials are by Joannes, one of the leading artists of early 15th-century London. The start of the Office of the Dead is here illustrated with a historiated initial 'D', depicting clerics singing from a choirbook behind a bier draped with black and white cloths.

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