Psalter with Passion readings – Fragment
Parchment · 1 leaf · 1441 – 1483 CE · Italy, perhaps Naples · 172 x 125 mm
Canberra, The National Library of Australia, Nan Kivell Calligraphic Collection MS 4052/3/107
How to quote:
Rose Faunce, 2018
One of two leaves in the collection from a Psalter written by Pietro Ursuleo of Capua (d. 1483), a priest and bishop of Satriano in Calabria from 1474 to 1483. They are probably 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).
This leaf was acquired by Sir Rex De Charembac Nan Kivell for his collection of miscellaneous manuscripts and documents spanning several centuries accumulated over a number of years from various sources which are not recorded. The material was collected by him as specimens of early calligraphy and/or examples of early documentation. He presented the collection, referred to as the ‘Nan Kivell Calligraphic Collection’, to the National Library of Australia in 1969.
In 1982 Albinia de la Mare of the Bodleian Library identified this leaf as the Psalter’s colophon leaf and ascribed a second leaf in the Nan Kivell Calligraphic Collection (NLA MS 4052/3/107) to Ursuleo.
Contents: John the Evangelist 19: 36-42 and colophon providing the name of the scribe “Petrus Ursuleus. Scripsit”.
Decoration: Versal initial in blue. The colophon written in capitals in alternating brown and pale red inks.
Script: Fine and well-formed humanistic minuscule, slightly clubbed, with generous word separation. Consistent punctuation and abbreviations confined to commonly occurring words.