Sunday, 20 March 2022

Otto Ege's Psalter with 'Aves' (HL116)

Many years ago, I worked on a group of early 13th-century English Psalters, some of which include a  hymn or series of prayers to the Virgin in which each stanza starts with the word "Ave". So I took special notice when, in 2014, I encountered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a leaf from a later 13th-century (c.1270) Franco-Flemish example, with the "Ave" stanza before each Psalm, curiously enframed in illuminated ornament, as in the image above.

I subsequenty found more of these very distinctive and easily recognisable leaves, and began to make a list; I have now put my list on a new Membra disiecta page here.

But it was only very recently that I realised something that I should have seen much earlier: the parent manuscript is the same as Ege HL116, of which Scott Gwara includes a reproduction of a bifolium in his book on Otto Ege's Manuscripts. The main reason I had not made the connection before is because the published image only contains normal Psalms text, without the distinctive enframed "Ave" stanza, and thus looks very similar to many other Franco-Flemish Psalters of the later 13th century:

The manuscript must have been broken-up by 1929, when C.L. Ricketts acquired leaves (now at the Lilly Libary, Bloomington) from Weyhe, and this early date suggests that neither Otto Ege nor Philip Duschnes were responsible for the dismemberment.

As usual, I would be glad if readers would bring new leaves to my attention.

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