Psalter with Passion readings – Fragment
Parchment · bifolium · 1440 – 1483 CE · Italy, perhaps Naples · 172 x 127 mm
Dunedin, Dunedin Public Libraries Heritage Collection, RMM Fragment 26
How to quote:Virtual reconstruction available:
The bifolium is from a Psalter written by Pietro Ursuleo of Capua (d. 1483), a priest and bishop of Satriano in Calabria from 1474 to 1483. It was purchased from Maggs Bros in October 1959. There are a further two leaves from the same Psalter in the collection (RMM Fragments 32a and 32b). They all probably are from the Psalter once in the library of John Boykett Jarman (1782-1864), auctioned by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge 13-14 June 1864 (lot 161). A twin manuscript also written by Pietro Ursuleo is preserved (Cambridge: Trinity College, MS. O.7.46).
Contents: Psalms 43-44, 55-57. Psalm numbers added in the margins in ink in a later hand.
Leaf 1: end of Psalm 43: 25-26 (closing entreaty to God); Psalm 44: 1-18.
Leaf 2: Psalm 55: 9-13 (opening abruptly at David's strident denunciation of his enemies); Psalm 56: 1-12; opening of Psalm 57: 1-3 (David's rebuke of the wicked).
Decoration: 2-line initials at the opening of each psalm in burnished gold with white vine decoration on blue, red and green ground. Versal initials in blue or burnished gold with penwork in pale red or violet.
Script: Fine and well-formed humanistic minuscule, slightly clubbed, with generous word separation. Consistent punctuation and abbreviations confined to commonly occurring words.