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Miniature from a Psalter: MS

An image of Cutting (manuscript)

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Miniature from a Psalter


Illuminator: Brailes, William de
Scribe: Brailes, William de




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: trimmed miniature including corner medallions 182 x 112 mm (frame excluding medallions 168 x 106 mm), inlaid in a modern parchment leaf

MS First verse of Ps 1 inscribed in white and red display capitals above recumbent figure of Jesse, the rest of Ps 1 and the first two verses of Ps 2 continue on reverse

Full-page miniature in dark blue frame ornamented with red dots and interlaced bands of white and gold ornamented with punched dots: Tree of Jesse, with King David, the Virgin, Christ and seven doves symbolising the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, with kings and prophets on either side in semi-circular compartments, identified by the names on their scrolls (Ezekiel, erroneously shown with a crown, Solomon, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, holding scroll inscribed … IDERIS … DANIEL, and St John the Baptist, holding scroll inscribed ECCE AGNUS DEI), with medallions incorporated in the frame, showing musicians playing the knee-viol, psaltery, harp and hurdy-gurdy, with the opening words of Ps 1 in display capitals on alternate blue and pink panels above the sleeping Jesse: BEAT[US] VIR Q[UI] N[ON] ABIT IN CONSILIO I[M]PIORU[M] ET IN VI[A] PECCAT[ORU]M N[ON] STETIT ET IN ATHEDRA PESTILE[N]CIE NON SEDIT.


History note: Provenance note: Joseph-Baptiste Barrois (1784-1855); Bertram, fourth earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878); Bertram, fifth earl of Ashburnham (1840-1913); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 10-14 June 1901, Barrois collection, lot 404; purchased by Quaritch; George C. Thomas of Philadelphia; Dr A.S.W. Rosenbach (1876-1952); purchased from him by Sydney Cockerell in 1920 for Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 7 June 1932, lot 11; withdrawn before the sale at Sydney Cockerell’s initiative and purchased for the Museum by the National Art Collections Fund in 1932.

Legal notes

Purchased from Alfred Chester Beatty, through the National Art Collections Fund

Place(s) associated

  • Oxford ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1932) by Beatty, Chester


13th Century, first half
Circa 1230 - Circa 1250

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Frame Height 168 mm Width 106 mm
Miniature Height 182 mm Width 112 mm

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS
Primary reference Number: 209488
Project ID: 3491
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 1 November 2016 Updated: Monday 5 February 2024 Last processed: Monday 5 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Miniature from a Psalter" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-24 11:22:04

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