“The Reims Psalter”
Type: Leaves & Fragments
“The Reims Psalter.” Single folio on vellum. Northeastern France, doubtless Reims, ca. 1250: 189 mm x 147 mm (justification approx. 134 mm × 90 mm). Single column, 15 lines. Decoration: two two-line initials in red and blue with contrasting penwork; fifteen alternating red and blue versal initials; fifteen intricate, decorative line-fillers, each distinctive. Text: Psalms 113.24-26 celum celi domino … usque in seculum; 114 (all); 115.1-14 … coram omni. Both recto and verso have textual additions in the margins. Provenance: from a well-known Psalter sold at Sotheby’s, 24 June 1980 lot 53. The kalendar included a feast for the dedication of Reims Cathedral (“dedicatio ecclesie remensis”) as well as a Reims Cathedral ownership inscription. The Psalter later passed to the nearby Cistercian abbey at Signy and bore their note of ownership as well (see M. Manion et al., Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in New Zealand Collections (London, 1989), no. 111). A previous owner obtained the leaf at Maggs (London) on 7 January 1993 for £95. The folio still bears their pencil inscription: “Psalter, ? Rheims, mid 13th century (see De Hamel, no. 111) £95.” Condition: worn and dirty, especially in the lower margin, which is thin, and having a slit of approximately 40 mm extending from the outer margin of the leaf.