“Monastic psalter. Multiple folios on vellum, three groups of two or three consecutive folios. France, ca. 1220: approx. 144 x 127 mm (written area approx. 130 x 80 mm). Single column, 19 lines. Decoration: some leaves have two- to five-line initials in gold—now worn down to the brightly colored gesso—on red and blue grounds infilled with white penwork decoration. Versal initials al-ternate in gold and blue. One folio opens the Litany. Foliated in modern pencil: 88-90, 92-94, 104-105. Contents: (a) end of Psalm 140, Psalms 141-143, most of Psalm 145 (fols. 88-90, four initials); (b) Psalms 147-150, Canticle of Isaiah, Canticle of Ezechiel, most of the Canticle of Anna (fols. 92-94, seven initials); (c) nearly all of the Athanasian Creed, opening of the Litany of the Saints (fols. 104-105, one large initial K for the Kyrie of the Litany). Because three folios were missing from the codex after fol. 105, fol. 104 represents all that survives from the Litany.
Condition and Provenance: this book was in a fire at some point, for scorched corners and edges of the slightly browned leaves have flaked away, leaving irregularly shaped folios. Some of these have been inscribed. Selection (b), in fact, has the signature (92r) of the sixteenth-century owner François de Marcambie, possibly a descendant of François de la Haye, seigneur de Marcambie (Nôtre Dame de Cenilly, Basse-Normandie). This François offered a reward of wine should the book, if lost, be returned to him (126r). The name of a second owner, B. Goussil, is recorded in a seventeenth-century script on 92v and 105v. The volume came into the possession of Count Eric von Rosen (1879-1948) of Rockelstad Castle, Sweden (now a conference center), and was sold in 1969 and 1980, eventually acquired by Canadian banker Joseph Pope, owner of the Bergendal Collection. Purchased by a German dealer (Sotheby’s 5 July 2011 lot 55), it was subsequently cut up and dispersed. These three groups of leaves, all bound in full leather, probably represent the last consecutive folios from this manuscript.”
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