Psalter, [ca. 1260].

Catholic Church [Browse]
Uniform title
Manuscript, Book
1 v. (148 leaves) : parchment, ill.


[ca. 1260].
Summary note
Ms. Psalter, written and illuminated in England, possibly Oxford, in the 1260s, and probably commissioned for use of a chaplain by a woman depicted in the initial to the first canticle of Isaiah, f. 123v. Folio 146, lines 1-9, was written ca. 1300 and ff. 146, lines 13-25, 146v-148, are mid-14th century.
  • Female owner in the 14th century suggested by gender in prayers added on ff. 147v-148. Beauchamp family members' obituaries added to the Calendar in the 15th century: in one hand, 1) Johanna FitzAlan (2.13, commemorative), d. November 14, 1435; wife of William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny; in another hand, as follows, 2) Isabel Despenser (8.24, commemorative), d. December 27, 1439; m., 1st, Richard Beauchamp, son of Johanna Beauchamp, and 4th Earl of Worcester, in 1411; m., 2nd, Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, in 1423; buried, as was her 1st husband in 1422, in Tewkesbury Abbey; 3) Cecily Neville (9.29), d. September 29, 1450; m., 1st, Henry Beauchamp, 14th Earl of Warwick in 1434; m., 2nd, John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester in 1446; buried, as was her 1st husband, in Tewkesbury Abbey; 4) John Beauchamp (10.19), d. April 9-19, 1475; son of Johanna Beauchamp; Baron Powick; 5) Roger Beauchamp (12.6, commemorative), d. January 3, 1379. (Egbert, pp. 377, 380-381, and The Complete Peerage, I, pp. 24-30; II, p. 47; III.2, pp. 378-382, 383-384). The Beauchamp family was a prominent patron of the Benedictine Abbey of Tewkesbury, as some members were buried there. The obit of Richard Cheltenham, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Tewkesbury (1481-1509), added to the Calendar (10.7, on f. 5v) in the 16th century, perhaps at the request of the erstwhile owner who wished to memorialize him. In view of the connections with Tewkesbury Abbey, MS Garrett 34 has often been called the Tewkesbury Psalter.
  • Layout: Parchment; ff. 7-145v, single column of 23 lines, ruled 7 mm. apart; f. 146, single column of 24 lines, ruled 7 mm. apart; ff. 146-148, single column of 24-25 lines (ff. 146-147v) and of 30 lines (f. 148), ruled 7 mm. apart; 270 x 180 (170 x 120-5, calendar, 180 x 130) mm.
  • Decoration: a) Painting: (ff. 1-145v), ca. 1260: Painted decoration and illustrations by an English illuminator, possibly in Oxford. 9 historiated initials for psalms 1, 26, 38, [51 and 52 removed], 68, 80, 97, 101, and 109 of the ten-partite division (ff. 7, 24v, 36v, 57, 71v, 84, 85v, 97v) and for the first canticle of Isaiah 12 (f. 123v); all but two as 6-line initials with display incipits in gold capitals within blocks of pink and blue infillings embellished with white rinceaux. Instructions to illuminator to paint incipits as display script (e.g., f. 57r for Psalm 68; f. 71v for Psalm 80; f. 84r for Psalm 97; f. 97v for Psalm 109). 5-line initials for psalm 101 and the first canticle (ff. 85v and 123v). Psalm 1 with marginalia of human hybrids. 3-line ornamental initial of dragon and spiraling foliage for psalm 119 (f. 109v). Colors of royal blue, rose-brown, beige, and orange; burnished gold backgrounds and frames with punched dots; diapered spandrels of initial fields; brown lines for contours of figures. Folio 146, lines 1-9 (ca. 1300) and ff. 146, lines 13-25, 146v-148, mid-14th century have no decoration. There are instructions for decorator to embellish initials, never executed. Penwork: ff. 1-145v, ca. 1260: English style of pen-flourishing typically found in Oxford manuscripts of the third quarter of the 13th century. Extremely elaborate pen-drawn embellishments of loops and spirals in margins form a distinctive feature of MS Garrett 34. Blue penwork, the preferred color in Oxford-produced manuscripts, for gold initials mark initials of 5- to 2-lines. 5-line initial P of Vespers antiphon of the Office of the Dead in gold with blue penwork (f. 139). 4-line initials in gold with blue penwork for KLs of Calendar (ff. 1-6v). 2-line gold initials with blue penwork for regular psalms, canticles except the first (Isaiah 12), K(yrie) of litany, and collects in the Psalter, and lessons and responses of the Office of the Dead. 1-line initials alternately gold with blue penwork and blue with red penwork of same decoration for versals. Line-endings of blue and red ornament of J-decoration, stamens, spirals, and loops with spirals, and in particular the red horizontal loops with spirals invading right margins only. Independent horizontal or diagonal shafts of the same penwork in bottom margins of all rectos.
Binding note
16th-century, English blind-tooled and stamped brown calf over wooden boards, with remains of two clasps, enclosed in modern red case with spine-title: "Tewkesbury Pslater Sec. XIII" 18 foredge tabs cut and folded on ff. 8, 21, 27, 34, 38, 41, 42, 45, 51, 54, 75, 79, 87, 97, 101, 109, 121, 133. Stitching holes above miniatures for cloth covers.
Language note
Textura semiquadrata.
Early provenance unknown. Bernard Quaritch, London, booksellers, 1900; to Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1897, of Baltimore, Maryland, deposit no. 964 (also penciled number "964D" in upper left corner of f. 1v).
Source acquisition
Gift of Robert Garrett, 1942.
Publications about
  • Bennett, Adelaide. "The Place of Garrett 28 in Thirteenth-Century English Illumination," Diss. Columbia University, 1973, pp. 177-178.
  • Bennett, Adelaide. "The Windmill Psalter: the Historiated Letter E of Psalm One," in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 43 (1980), p. 55 n. 13.
  • Egbert, Donald D. "The Tewkesbury Psalter," Speculum 9 (1935), pp. 376-386; pls. I (f. 7r), II (f. 123v), III (f. 5v).
  • Green. p. 187 (no. 25 [f. 7r]). Ker. MLGB, p. 188
  • Faye and Bond, p. 312
Cite as
Garrett MS. 34, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
Place name(s)
England Oxford.
Other title(s)
Tewkesbury psalter
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