History by the Month: February and the Peterborough Psalter

The Peterborough Psalter was illuminated in East Anglia, c.1310-20, perhaps for Oliver de Wisset. By the mid-fourteenth century it was in the possession of the prior of Peterborough Abbey. The Calendar page for February includes the saints and feast days appropriate for that month, and little roundels showing a man seated by the fire cooking... Continue Reading →

Monsters at the end of the world

It's nearly Halloween, and accompanying days of All Saints and All Souls, so in many parts of the world people have been gearing up for the night by watching horror films, procuring masks and makeup, and generally revelling in the monstrous and terrifying. However, the thrill of pondering pure terror is nothing new, and medieval manuscript illustrations can be filled with grotesque... Continue Reading →

History by the Month: October and Henry IV

A Pontifical is a service-book for a bishop. This richly illuminated manuscript, probably made in London, seems to have been begun for Guy de Mohun, bishop of Saint Davids 1397-1407. It later belonged to Richard Clifford, bishop of London 1407-21. It includes the service for the coronation of a king, which Guy de Mohun would... Continue Reading →

History by the Month- April

This is one of two known manuscripts of Jean Galopes, Le livre doré de la vie nostre seigneur Jesu Crist, a life of Christ, made for presentation to Henry V, king of England 1413-22. The English armies had occupied France following the Battle of Agincourt, whose anniversary falls this year (1415), and the manuscript of... Continue Reading →

Christmas card 2012: The six-winged seraph

Our Christmas card this year: It's a six-winged seraph from MS 66, a late twelfth-century manuscript with an ownership inscription from Sawley Abbey, a Cistercian house on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire, but R.A.B. Mynors and other have suggested that it was probably made at Durham during the time of Bishop Hugh de Puiset,... Continue Reading →

Illuminated Manuscripts in Cambridge, part 2

We're really pleased to have receive our copy of the next instalment of the catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts in Cambridge which covers the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum and the college libraries. The first part surveyed Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Low Countries; part 2 (in 2 volumes) includes manuscripts produced in Italy and the... Continue Reading →

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