Psalms 80–150 (ff. 1r–159r). Weekly canticles, without titles (ff. 159v–179r). Daily canticles, prayers and creeds, without titles (ff. 179r–192r). Litany for the use of St Peter’s, Ghent (ff. 192r–199v). Collects (ff. 200r-203v).
Ruled in pale brown ink with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines extending the full height and width of page; written below the top line; 13 lines per page; written space: c. 52 × 38 mm.
Formal Gothic book hand.
(fols. i–iv) fol. i is a marbled paper leaf, originally conjoint with the upper pastedown, pasted to the first leaf of a quire of four paper leaves; thread visible after fol. ii; watermark ?⟨WHAT⟩MAN on fol. iv | (fol. v) parchment fly-leaf (post-medieval (?)) | (fols. 1–11) I (12−1) missing 1 | (fols. 12–35) II–III (12) | (fols. 36–47) IV (12+1−1) fol. 43 containing a miniature is inserted | (fols. 48–70) V–VI (12) | (fols. 71–77) VII (8 (?) −1) perhaps the eighth leaf cancelled after fol. 77 | (fols. 78/79–198) VIII–XVII (12) | (fols. 199–204) XVIII (6) | (fols. 205–208) fol. 208 is a marbled paper leaf, originally conjoint with lower pastedown, pasted to the last leaf of a quire of four paper leaves. Catchwords occasionally survive.
c. 87 × 62 mm (size of leaf). Leaves were trimmed in rebinding, causing the loss of decoration on most leaves.
The decoration is the work of two artists: the first executed vol. I (MS. Douce 5), fols. 10v–16v and vol. 2 (MS. Douce 6), fols. 48r to end; the second executed the rest. The style of the first artist is closely related to that of a Franciscan psalter, Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek MS. GKS 3384 8o, ; the style of the second artist is related to a breviary of St Peter’s, Ghent, London, British Library, Add. MS. 29253, (K. B. E. Carlvant, ‘Collaboration in a fourteenth-century psalter: the Franciscan iconographer and the two Flemish illuminators of MS 3384, 8o in the Copenhagen Royal Library’, Sacris Erudiri 25 (1982), pp. 135–66).
Miniatures and 5- or 6-line historiated initials (7-line Beatus-initial) at liturgical divisions with scenes on gold backgrounds. Full borders decorated with scenes, human, bird, animal and hybrid figures and heads, flowers and foliage.
2- to 3-line initials, decorated with human and animal figures and heads, floral and geometric designs.
Full borders, decorated with scenes, human, bird, animal and hybrid figures and heads, flowers and foliage at the beginnings of psalms, canticles, litany and prayers. The scenes include a fox pretending to be dead and a magpie (MS. Douce 5, fol. 56r); a self-portrait (?) of the illuminator (MS. Douce 5, fol. 185r); depictions of saints near their names in the litany (MS. Douce 6, fols. 193r–196r); a hunter, a virgin and a unicorn (MS. Douce 5, fol. 74r, MS. Douce 6, fol. 39r); a scribe (MS. Douce 6, fol. 144r), etc.
1-line gold initials, decorated with alternating red and blue penwork, at the beginnings of verses and periods.
Line-endings, decorated with human and animal figures and heads.
Red velvet bindings, perhaps made for Douce; marbled paper pastedowns and flyleaves. Sewn on four cords. The spines renewed, fabric labels perhaps from the replaced spine pasted on the first fly-leaf of each volume, marked correspondingly ‘heures i’ and ‘heures ij’. Fol. 207v carries traces at the gutter of apparently four cords from a previous binding. Gilt and gauffered edges. Perhaps MS. Douce 5 and MS. Douce 6 formerly bound as a single volume, as a single series of binder’s quire numbers continue from ‘20’ in vol. II.
Arms of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, Ghent on fol. 4r of Douce 5; calendar and litany based on those of St Peter’s. Miniatures and historiated initials emphasize psalms important in secular use, including psalm 21, recited at Sunday Prime in secular use. Erased late medieval or early modern inscriptions: Douce 5, fol. vi recto, possibly beginning ‘Hic liber ...’ [??] and Douce 6, fol. 203v, possibly beginning ‘miserere et ...’ [??]. Thomas Payne (1752–1831), London bookseller and publisher, see ODNB. Francis Douce, 1757–1834: purchased in November 1823. A note in his Collecta, a list of his acquisitions and exchanges (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Douce e. 68) describes it as ‘Beautiful small Horæ 2 vols. (grotesques) Payne’; bookplate, upper pastedown of both volumes. Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834.
Elizabeth Solopova, Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library: A Select Catalogue (Oxford, 2013), pp. 379–87. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.
Western Medieval Manuscripts
Volume two of two. First volume: MS. Douce 5.
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
The Tolkien Trust
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