6248. Illuminated manuscript in Latin, Germany 13th c.

PSALTER AND CANTICLES, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment [Germany, mid-thirteenth century]

122 leaves (plus a modern paper endleaf at front and back), 130 x 92 mm., uncollatable due to condition of spine, but definitely wanting numerous leaves throughout and ending abruptly in the Canticle "Benedicte omnia opera domini" at ". Benedicte sol et luna domino, benedicite stelle ce[li, domino]", single column of 18 lines of a good early gothic bookhand (written below topline), reference notes in margins in red penwork boxes, line fillers in coloured penwork, one-line initials in simple red or turquoise blue, 2-line initials in bands of same, occasional larger initials in same colours with densely scrolling contrasting penwork, 8 initials in red and green bands set within thick gold frames, and usually on pale green grounds, one large historiated initial 'Q' (half-page in height, opening "Quid gloriaris in malicia ." Psalm 51) in red heightened with white penwork, enclosing St. Michael in green robes with a burnished gold halo (as common in southern German Psalters of this date), standing on a green dragon and thrusting a long thin spear into its mouth, all on pale green grounds and within a thick gold frame, a few later medieval German language annotations in margin, 4 leaves originally blank and now with late fourteenth- or fifteenth-century devotional material (fols. 55, 81, 92, 96), some initials scuffed and crackled, others with green burning through parchment in places, some leaves slightly scuffed (but with only occasional illegibility), other leaves with bottom outer corners torn away, spots, stains, small holes and areas of discolouration, numerous original flaws in parchment, overall fair condition; faux-gothic binding with leather tooled with ornamental scrollwork arranged in repeating lines on each board, over pasteboards, boards splitting from spine (back board held in place by paper supports on pastedown) and scuffed and cracked at edges.

1. Written and illuminated in southern Germany in the mid-thirteenth century (with St. Michael illustrated within a historiated initial, a common southern German feature, which has been linked to the medieval development of the Psalter as a text for private devotion: see E. Klemm in The Illuminated Psalter, 2004, pp. 362-376).
2. From the library of Rockelstad Castle, Sörmland, Sweden: early twentieth-century printed armorial bookplate of Eric von Rosen (1879-1948) pasted to front pastedown. It has previously been thought that this family sold their manuscripts at Sotheby's, 9 July 1969, as "the property of a gentleman", but this volume is not recorded there, and was perhaps sold privately in Sweden c. 1969.
3. Roman Kaczmar, acquired 1982: his MS. 1-12.85, and with his inkstamp.

We would like to thank Dr. Timothy Bolton for the cataloguing of this lot.