Magna Glossatura in Psalmost


In the Lilly Library this manuscript is shelfmarked as Ricketts 20.  Written in the very early part of the 13th century in Germany most likely in Weissenau.  This is not a small book but neither is it the largest I have handled by a significant amount.

About 275mm wide

About 275mm wide

About 100 mm thick

Manuscript height

More than 300 mm in height

This manuscript is certainly one that I could have spent many hours with but the library was closing in 45 minutes so I did not get as much quality time with the manuscript as I wanted to.

The script is beautiful and the experts call it a Gothic Textura.  I call it a transitional script between Carolingian Minuscule and Gothic. As always naming and identifying scripts is not something that is always agreed upon.

Notice on the page that there is also a lot of abbreviation being used.

Transitional script using a lot of abbreviations.  Click for a closer view.

Transitional script using a lot of abbreviations. Click for a closer view.

I find this book interesting from a codicology perspective as well.  For example you have prick holes for lining in the spine and on the edges of pages.

Pricked holes near the spine.

Pricked holes near the spine.

And..

A slew of pages with the pricking holes near the edge.

A slew of pages with the pricking holes near the edge.

Having pricked holes for lining in both the spine and the outer edge of the page indicates a higher likelihood that the pricking holes were put there when the parchment was folded before being put into quires and bound into the book.  Of course this book was rebound at least once in the 19th century and with rebinding almost always comes trimming of the pages so we should take all evidence and conclusions with a grain of salt so to speak.

And the lines were left in which was the norm for manuscripts of higher quality.

Lines left in for spacing

Lines left in for spacing and columns

We like to think of the parchment being perfect or practically perfect when it is used for manuscripts.  This isn’t always true. The below picture shows the parchment wasn’t perfect but they used it anyway.

Imperfect parchment. Fatty deposits on corner and below that some skin imperfection

Imperfect parchment. Fatty deposits on corner and below that some skin imperfection

And what was on that page?

Normal page but imperfect parchment

Normal page but imperfect parchment

We will revisit this manuscript in a later post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s