BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 417 England, ca. 1325
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
1. ff. 1r-6v Graded calendar for monastic use in brown, blue, red, and gold,
including the feasts of Odilo (2 January, in capis, 12 lessons), "Resurrectio
domini" (27 March, duplex festum, processionaliter in gold), Hugh (29 April, in
capis, 12 lessons), Maiolus (11 May, in capis, 12 lessons), Pancratius, Nereus
and Achilleus (12 May, in capis, process., 12 lessons), Translation of Hugh
(13 May, 12 lessons), Alban and Consortia (22 June, 12 lessons), Ethelreda
(23 June, 12 lessons), Visitation (2 July), Translation of Thomas of Canterbury
(7 July, in albis, process., 12 lessons; not erased), Transfiguration (6
August, 12 lessons), "Excepcio reliquiarum sanctorum" (3 October, in albis, 12
lessons), Odo (19 November, in capis, 12 lessons), Thomas of Canterbury
(29 December, in capis, process., 12 lessons, erased).
2. ff. 7r-110r Psalter in the 10-part division, with one leaf missing after
f. 74 (Pss. 95.10 - 97.8) and one after f. 75 (Pss. 100.7 - 101.22).
3. ff. 110r-120v Ferial canticles, Te Deum, Benedicite omnia opera, N. T.
canticles, Quicumque vult.
4. ff. 120v-124v Litany including Odo (23), Maiolus (24), Hugh (26) and
Gerard, bishop of Toul (27) among the 28 confessors, and Ethelreda (11),
Milburga (12), Radegundis (13), Walburgis (14) and Consortia (16) among the 21
Parchment, ff. ii (parchment) + 124 + ii (parchment) 348 x 227 (263 x 162)
mm. Written in 32 lines in calendar, in two columns of 22 lines in text,
ruled in light brown ink. Single vertical and horizontal bounding lines, full
length and full across; two horizontal lines in center full across. Double vertical
and horizontal rulings in upper, lower and outer margins. Additional ruling in
hard point to mark height of minims.
I^^6, II-IX^^8, X^^8 (-5 and 7 after ff. 74 and 75), XI-XVI^^8. Catchwords
below second column, verso (one with grotesque on f. 108v).
Written in fine gothic bookhand.
A sumptuously illuminated and exceptionally well preserved manuscript of East
Anglian origin, whose border ornament is comparable to the "Ormesby Psalter"
(Oxford, Bodl. Lib., Douce 366) and figure style to the "Luttrell Psalter"
(London, B. L., Add. 42130). (See Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 201-02, no.
28, pl. 11 of fol. 7r). Eight of the original ten historiated initials
survive: f. 7r David harping (Psalm 1), f. 23r Annunciation
(Psalm 26), f. 33v Nativity (Psalm 38), f. 42v Adoration of the
Magi (Psalm 50), f. 43r Presentation in temple (Psalm 52), f. 52v Assumption
(Psalm 68), f. 64v Coronation of Virgin (Psalm 80), f. 85v Trinity (Psalm 109).
Initials for Psalms 97 and 101 missing (see collation and art. 2). The
historiated initials pink and blue with white filigree and dots on f. 7r
incorporating intertwining leaves in pink, blue, green and orange; the figures
predominantly orange, and purple with some pink, blue and green, on elaborately
tooled gold, set against square grounds, quartered blue and red, with diapering.
Each initial with a lavishly ornamented full border incorporating spiraling
foliage, large oak leaves, flowers, knots, grotesques, and quatrefoils framing
additional figures. These include on f. 7r, an Annunciation, monk kneeling in
prayer, trumpeting figures, and, in the bas-de-page, David and Goliath, flanked
by grotesques; f. 33v a crowned male bust [king?] and birds; f. 42v grotesques;
f. 52v Holy Face, f. 64v standing man and grotesques. 2-line initials for
Psalms, pink and/or blue, with white filigree and dots, filled with spiraling
ivy, large leaves and dots, blue, green and orange, occasionally a fleur-de-lis,
flower, or diaper pattern, on gold, against pink and blue grounds, with white
filigree and dots, most connected to bar borders, pink, blue, orange and gold
with floral, ivy and grotesque terminals. 1-line initials for verses, gold,
thickly edged in black, against irregular pink and blue grounds with white
filigree and dots. Many varied line fillers in red and blue.
Lower right corners of ff. 42 and 85 excised.
Binding: s. xvi, perhaps at Oxford. Caught-up sewing on twelve tawed,
slit strap supports,
only four of them laced into beech boards, the others cut off at the edges of
the spine. The spine is square and the bands prominent and defined. Covered
in dark brown calf, blind-tooled with two concentric frames of medallion heads
and arabesques, with thistles in the outer corners of the inner panel and
an ornament with a cherub's head on it in the center. The design is the same
as no. 522, pl. xxxvi, in J. B. Oldham's English Blind-Stamped Bindings
(Cambridge, 1952); see also p. 53: HM. h (3), ?Oxford 1562-66, and p. 36.
Nails for catches but no marks of them on the leather, stubs of two straps
on the upper board.
Written probably at a Cluniac house in East Anglia, perhaps Castle Acre or
Thetford, judging from the Saints in the litany and calendar, according to
L. F. Sandler. Stylistic features suggest a date ca. 1325. Taken to Australia
in the late 19th century by an ancestor of W. T. B. Wildash; no. 160 in
Wildash collection (Sinclair, pp. 257-58); sold by W. T. B. Wildash at Sotheby's
(9 July 1969, no. 44 with 3 plates; one in color). Mutilated and
unidentified "Church Congress Exhibition" label with handwritten "505 [?]"
glued inside upper cover (see also Provenance of Beinecke MS 287). Purchased
from C. A. Stonehill in 1969 by Edwin J. Beinecke for the Beinecke Library.
secundo folio: [calendar, f. 2] KL Marcius
[text, f. 8] [ca]put meum
Bibliography: Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 201-02, no. 28, pl. 11 (f. 7r).
Art at Auction. The Year at Sotheby's and Parke-Bernet (1968-69), pp.
N. J. Morgan, Medieval Art in East Anglia, 1300-1520, exhib. cat.
(Norwich, 1973) 32, nos. 26-27.
L. F. Sandler, "An Early Fourteenth-Century Cluniac Psalter from East Anglia"
(Fourth Annual Yale Lecture on Medieval Illumination, 1976), unpublished.
Barbara A. Shailor