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Historiated Initial To II Samuel, In 'The Ashridge Petrus Comestor'

Historiated Initial To II Samuel, In 'The Ashridge Petrus Comestor'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1290

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 D.vi

Item number: f.130v

Length: 40

Width: 26.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Ashridge College, a few miles north of Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, was founded in 1283 and dedicated in 1286 by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, who was born at Berkhamstead, and who died at Ashridge in 1300. His arms are in the margin of the first page of the Gospels, and it is therefore likely that the book was commissioned by him for his foundation. The historiated initial 'F' at the start of II Samuel depicts the Amalekite youth, holding Saul's crown and the spear with which he killed him, kneeling before King David, who wrings his hands in anguish at the news of Saul's death (II Samuel 1:2, 10-11). The second line of the instruction to the illuminator in the margin to the left reads '. . . ad David' (. . . to David').

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