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Psalter with Canticles and the Office of the Dead (The ‘Princess Joan Psalter’), as kept in the British Library, consists of two parts. The part with the Psalter has nine historiated initials with full foliate borders in colours and gold, at the beginning of major Psalm divisions (ff. 16, 33, 43v, 54, 64, 77, 88v, 101v, 144). Smaller initials in colours and gold with foliate extensions, at the beginning of other Psalms. Initials in gold with blue pen-flourishing, or in blue with red pen-flourishing, at the beginning of verses; line-fillers in gold and blue. This part is dated first quarter of the 15th century [1].

Royal 2.B.VIII, f.16

The page that attracted my interest, is f. 16r. The description of this page reads “The computistical materials at the beginning of this manuscript were drawn up in 1380 at the request of the mother of Richard II, Lady Joan Holland. It used to be thought that this was the original presentation copy made for Joan, hence the name the ‘Princess Joan Psalter’. Two of its historiated initials are by Joannes, one of the leading artists of early 15th-century London. The historiated initial ‘B’ contains a typical representation of King David as composer of the Psalms, enthroned and harping. This initial has been attributed to an important artist who signed his name, ‘Johannes’ (John), in another manuscript” [2].

This page has a malacomorph hybrid in the lower-left corner. A drake-like figure comes out of what seems like a shell. It is an elongated specimen, and possibly a dextral one although this cannot be ascertained.

BLL Royal2BVIII_f16r_detail

[1] BLL, inv. Royal 2 B VIII, 150 ff. http://bit.ly/1kcGuYW.
[2] http://bit.ly/1oJM9Zg.