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Map of the world from Psalter 'The Map Psalter'

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Drawing of a blessing Christ and two censing angels above a remarkably detailed map of the world. Jerusalem is in the centre, the Red Sea is coloured red, and depictions of mythical monstrous races are arranged along the lower right-hand extremity. The British Isles are at the lower left extremity. Author is unknown, but the initials are similar in style to the Sarum Master and the artist of the Stockholm Psalter.

  • Shelfmark:
    Additional 28681
  • DOI:
  • Museum Collection:
  • Author(s):
  • Date:
    c. 1265 (1262 or later)
  • Place:
    London, England??
  • Keywords:
    Cartography, Christianity, Psalter, world map, Jesus, Angels
  • Copyright status:
    Public Domain, sourced from The British Library
  • Language:
    Latin and French (Anglo-Norman)
  • Illustrator:
  • Content type:
  • Identifier:
  • Volumes:
  • Format:
    Parchment codex
  • Collation:
    ff. 9r, 9v,190v. From Psalter ('The Map Psalter'). 3 full-page miniatures, in pen and wash with areas of full colour and gold, including a map and a diagram of the world. 9 large historiated initals in colours and gold, at major divisions of the Psalms (ff. 18, 39v, 54v, 68, 68v, 82v, 100, 116v, 118v; the leaf with the Psalm 109 initial is missing). Smaller foliate initials, often with zoomorphic decoration, in colours and gold at the beginning of the other Psalms and Canticles. Small initials alternately in red with blue pen-flourishing, or in blue with red pen-flourishing. Line-fillers in blue or red ink, often in the form of animals or hybrid creatures, at the beginning of Psalms.
  • Binding:
    Post-1600. Bound by J. Clarke
  • Provenance:
    From Psalter ('The Map Psalter') with added prayers in French and Miniatures added to a Psalter. Written after 1262: the feast of Richard of Chichester on 3 April is included in the calendar (f. 12v). Probably made in London or Westminster, as indicated by original entries in the calendar, later erased (ff. 10v-16v) and the style of illumination. However the litany includes Worcester saints (see Morgan, 1988). Henry III, king of England (b. 1207, d. 1272) perhaps copied from a wall map in his palace at Westminster (see Vincent, 2013) Prayers added in a 15th-century hand (ff. 223r-224r). Marye Wyndam: her name inscribed in a 16th-century hand (f. 18r). Inscribed, 'Anne my eldeast doughter was borne the xiiij day of July in the yere of our lorde God 1557' (f.225v). An alphabetical list of Psalms from P to V in a later hand (f. 1r) Henry D. Jones: his armorial bookplate on the inside upper binding. Purchased by the British Museum from Henry Jones, 5 April 1871: note on f. [iv] recto.
  • Additional Information:
    Further Reading: Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1854-1875 (London: British Museum, 1877), p. 531. Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 8. History of Cartography, 6 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987- ), I, Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, ed. by J. B. Harley and David Woodward, fig. 18.35, 18.63. Suzanne Lewis, The Art of Matthew Paris in the 'Chronica Majora' (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1987), pp. 510, 513. Nigel Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts, 2 vols, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 4 (London: Harvey Miller, 1988) II, 1190-1285, no. 114. [with extensive further bibliography]. Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (London: Reaktion, 1992), pl. 1. P. D. A. Harvey, Mappa Mundi: The Hereford World Map (London: British Library, 1996), pl. on p. 29.. Evelyn Edson, Mapping Time and Space: How Medieval Mapmakers viewed their World (London: British Library, 1997), pl. VI, fig. 7.1. Ruth Dean and Maureen Bolton, Anglo-Norman Literature, A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), nos. 899, 970, 973. Danielle Lecoq, 'Les Marges de la Terre habitee' in L'iconographie: Etudes sure les rapports entre textes et images dans l'Occident medieval (Paris: Le Leopard d'Or, 2001), pp. 98-186 (p. 109). Debra Higgs Strickland, Saracens, Demons, & Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), fig. 4, 63. F. O. Büttner, ‘Der illuminierte Psalter im Westen’, in The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of its Images, ed. by F. O. Büttner (Belgium: Brepols, 2004), pp. 1-106 (p. 22). Daniel Birkholz, The King's Two Maps : cartography and culture in thirteenth-century England (New York, London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 4, 32-35, 38-42, 50-51. Suzanne Wittekind, 'Die Illustration von Augustinustexten', in Der Kommentar in Antike und Mittelalter, 3 vols, ed. by W. Geerlings and C. Schulze (Leiden: Brill, 2004) ,II, pp. 101-27 (p. 122). Nigel Morgan, 'The Trinity Apocalypse: Style, Dating and Place of Production', in The Trinity Apocalypse (Trinity College Cambridge, MS R.16.2) (London: British Library, 2005), pp. 23-43 (p. 27). Treasures of the British Library, ed. by Nicolas Barker and others (London: British Library, 2005), pl. on p. 177. Asa Simon Mittman, Maps and Monsters in Medieval England (New York: Routledge, 2006), p. 37, fig. 2.4. Sacred: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and their Sacred Texts (London: British Library, 2007), p. 200 [exhibition catalogue]. Evelyn Edson, The World Map, 1300-1492: The Persistence of Tradition and Transformation (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2007), pp. 238-39. Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008), pl. 15-2. Irmeli Valtonen, The North in the Old English Orosius: A geographical narrative in context (Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 2008, ), p. 233 [on ff. 187v-188]. James Robinson, Masterpieces: Medieval Art (London: British Museum, 2008), p. 264, pl. on p. 264. Peter Barber and Tom Harper, Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art(London: British Library, 2010), p. 78 [exhibition catalogue]. Melissa La Porte: 'A Tale of Two Mappai Mundi: The Map Psalter and its Mixed Media Maps' (Unpublished masters thesis: University of Guelph, Ontario, 2012), online at: https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10214/3662/LaPorte-final-05-09.pdf?sequence=6 . Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2013), pp. 26-27 [exhibition catalogue]. Nicholas Vincent, 'The Great Lost Library of England's Medieval Kings' in1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts, ed. by Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick (London: The British Library, 2013), pp. 73-112 (p. 94-95).