You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Egerton 1821

Title Psalter and Rosary of the Virgin (from f. 27), in two versions, and other devotional texts, including a litany
Origin England
Date c. 1480 - c. 1525
Language Latin and English
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 large print of the Virgin and Child in colours at the beginning of the Rosary (f. 2v). 3 large coloured prints relating to the Passion with English inscriptions pasted to them, surrounded by frames painted in red with drops of blood (ff. 8v-9v). 3 pages painted in black covered with red blood drops (ff. 1-2). 5 pages painted in red covered with streaming blood (ff. 6-8). 1 large decorated initial, in red and blue (f. 29). Small initials in plain red or blue. 1 headpiece with roses, in red and blue (f. 29v).
Dimensions in mm 180 x 130 (120 x 90)
Official foliation ff. I + 68 (+ 5 paper flyleaves at the beginning, and 1 parchment and 6 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Gold-tooled brown leather.
Provenance ? The Carthusian house at Sheen, the Domus Jesu de Bethlehem, a royal foundation: at the top of every text page is the abbreviated name of Jesus (see Thebault and Dodgson).
? Perhaps intended for use by a woman in Kent: the litany includes ‘S. Augustine of Canterbury and all the saints of that monastery’, along with many women including Elizabeth of Spalbeck and Mary of Oignies (see discussion Lowden , virtual exhibition).
John Harris, of Hackynton, near Canterbury, 1540: inscription of his name with the place and the date (1st flyleaf at the end [f. ii]).
George Davenport, 1655: inscription of his name with the date (5th flyleaf verso [f. i verso]).
Bought by the British Museum from W. J. Hancock, 5 January 1860 (note on 4th flyleaf), using the Bridgewater fund (£12,000 bequeathed in 1829 by Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater (b. 1756, d. 1829).
Notes The text begins with three pages, each painted black, on which large drops of blood trickle down. The third page has been thoroughly worn, which may be the result of kissing; part of it has been rubbed and smudged rather than merely kissed.
The manuscript has generally been dated to the late 15th century, however Luxford has pointed out that the inclusion of St Bruno in the litany suggests that it was probably made after his canonisation in 1514, and there is 'nothing to show that the manuscript is earlier than c. 1525' (Luxford, 'Precept and Practice' (2009), p. 264).
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1853-1875 (London: British Museum, 1877), no. Eg. 1821.

F. A. Gasquet, ‘An English Rosary Book of the 15th Century’, Downside Review, 12 (1893), 215-28.

Campbell Dodgson, English Devotional Woodcuts of the Late Fifteenth Century, with Special Reference to those in the Bodleian Library', the Volume of the Walpole Society, 17 (1928-1929), 95-108 (pp. 97-98).

Campbell Dodgson, English Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century, Einblattdrucke des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts, 88 (Strasbourg, 1936), nos 6, 12, 16, 21, pp. 8-10.

Kathleen Kamerick, Popular Piety and Art in the Late Middle Ages: Image Worship and Idolatry in England 1350-1500 (New York: Palgrave, 2002), 167 and 187.

David S. Areford, ‘The Image in the Viewer’s Hands: The Reception of Early Prints in Europe’, Studies in Iconography, 24 (2003), 5-42 (pp. 16-21).

Peter Parshall and Rainer Schoch with others, Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2005), no. 49, pp. 185-87 [exhibition catalogue, with additional bibliography].

Julian M. Luxford, 'Precept and Practice: The Decoration of English Carthusian Books', Studies in Carthusian Monasticism in the Late Middle Ages (Turnout: Brepols, 2009), pp. 225-67 (pp. 261-64).

Nancy Thebaut, 'Bleeding Pages, Bleeding Bodies: A Gendered Reading of British Library MS Egerton 1821', Medieval Feminist Forum, 45, no. 2 (2009), 175-200.

David S. Areford, The Viewer and the Printed Image in Late Medieval Europe (Farnham, Surrey, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 76-80.

Marlene Villalobos Hennessy, ‘The Social Life of a Manuscript Metaphor: Christ’s Blood as Ink’, in Joyce Coleman, Mark Cruse and Kathryn A. Smith (eds.), The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 17-52.

John Lowden, 'Kissing Images', 'Treasures Known and Unknown in the British Library', Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts Virtual Exhibition, http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/TourKnownC.asp, accessed 27 May 2017.

Michelle Sauer, 'Audiotactility and the Medieval Soundscape of Parchment', 17 October 2016, https://soundstudiesblog.com/tag/ms-egerton-1821/, [accessed 27 May, 2017].


Images
* * *
 
Drops of blood

ff. 1v-2
Drops of blood
Virgin and Child

f. 2v
Virgin and Child
Blood

ff. 6v-7
Blood
 
Blood

f. 7
Blood
Blood

f. 7v
Blood
Blood

f. 8
Blood
 
Man of Sorrows

f. 8v
Man of Sorrows
Man of Sorrows

f. 8v
Man of Sorrows
Symbols of the Passion

f. 9
Symbols of the Passion
 
Man of Sorrows

f. 9v
Man of Sorrows

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back