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Psalter with Passion readings – Fragment

Parchment · 1 leaf · 1440 – 1483 CE · Italy, perhaps Naples · 172 x 123 mm


Hobart, Special & Rare Collections, University of Tasmania Library, Shelfmark Pending
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Jarman, John Boykett (Previous Owner)
Origin: Italy

Leaf from a Psalter written by Pietro Ursuleo of Capua (d. 1483), a priest and bishop of Satriano in Calabria from 1474 to 1483. The seller's label, with the stock numbering 'VMS 2027' written in pencil (on the recto) is preserved. According to Peter Kidd, it resembles the annotation of the bookseller Bruce P. Ferrini. The Library acquired the leaf from Folio Fine Art (6 Stratford Place, London, W1) for five pounds. The date of acquisition is not recorded. The leaf displays similar damage to two leaves in Dunedin (Reed Fragment 32a and 32b) acquired from Folio Fine Art in the mid 1960s.

The leaf is probably from the Psalter once part of 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).

In 2018 Rose Faunce identified the fragment's textual connection to the leaf (containing Luke 23: 8-26) bought by English bookseller Clifford Maggs for his private collection.

Contents: Part of the Passion sequence according to Luke concerning the plot to kill Jesus, and Peter’s denial. (22: 62-71; 23: 1-8).

Script: Fine and well-formed humanistic minuscule, slightly clubbed, with generous word separation. Consistent punctuation and  abbreviations confined to commonly occurring words.