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The Luttrell Psalter - Introduction

Image of the cover to the Luttrell Psalter
British Library Add. MS 42130
Copyright © The British Library Board

The Luttrell Psalter is one of the most famous medieval manuscripts because of its rich illustrations of everyday life in the 14th century. It was made in the diocese of Lincoln for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276 - 1345) of Irnham, probably sometime between 1325 and 1335.

The text was written throughout by one scribe and illuminated by at least five different artists. The style of the Psalter represents the last stage of the highly accomplished East Anglian School of manuscript illumination. One master artist completed a large section including the lavish dedication miniature showing the Psalter's patron, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, fully armed and mounted on a splendid war-horse.

Sir Geoffrey's will survives, and gives further insights into his life and times. The Psalter is not mentioned in the will. By the end of the century the Psalter was in the hands of the Fitzalan family, Earls of Arundel. The volume was acquired by the Library in 1929.

The Luttrell Psalter was once contained in this binding made in Cambridge around 1625 - 1640. It is made of brown calf leather, decorated with red paint, and stamped and tooled with gold and silver.

British Library Add. MS 42130


 
   
   
 
     

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