Exeter College MS. 54
Hugo de S. Caro, In psalmos 69–148; Oxford, England, 1458?
Stegmüller, Bibl., 3675. Because of the loss of the first leaf, our text begins at Ps. 68. 2 (Paris, 1539 edn., fol. clvrb/78) and further excision of leaves leads to gaps in the text at fols. 200/201 (Pss. 108. 24–109.1, edn. fols. cclxiiva/30-cclxiiirb/61), 238/9 (Pss. 118. 100-c. 120, edn. fols. cclxxxviva/48-cclxxxviiiva/75) and 253/4 (Pss. 120. c.3–121. 1, edn. ccxcviva/17-ccxcviira/35). It ends at Ps. 148. 7, edn. fol. cccxxviva/58.
Two columns, 60 lines. Ruled in crayon.
Written by Scribe 2: The script is gothic hybrida formata with cadell-like ascenders in top lines and plain long descenders in bottom lines. Punctuation is by low point and punctus elevatus.
Of the same type as in MS 51 but by Artist A (on whom see Watson, Exeter, pp. 85–87; q.v. also for a characterization of his work). Ten-line illuminated initials with elaborate blue, pink, and green sprays in outer and central margins remain intact at the beginning of all psalms except before Ps. 69 (excised) and on fols. 26v (mostly lost through damp), 39v, 79v (both partly lost through damp), 83v, 86v, 90v (all damaged by damp). Very fine decoration remains on fols 69r and 134v, before ferial divisions at Psalms 80 (Exultate Deo) and 97 (Cantate Domino) respectively. There are red and blue paraphs, red underlining of lemmata, and a red-and-blue linefiller. Dr Dennison regards this volume as the latest by Artist A in the series comprising MSS 51–68, remarking that the illumination shares characteristics of hands of artists A and B: the ornamental motifs are those of A while the slightly ‘hotter’ palette suggests acquaintance with the pigments used by Artist B. It thus bears the typical hallmarks of a transitional manuscript, perhaps suggesting some working contact between the artists.
Rebound in the 19th century. Stamped leather bindings over square-edged wooden board, the stamp used is a 19th-century imitation of the binding that survives on the other manuscripts of the group of MSS 51–68–in style although not in the details of the tool. Sewn on seven bands, and otherwise as MS 51 except that the rolls used are a 19th-century imitation of the roll used on that and the other volumes. See Watson, Exeter, p. 87.
Provenance and Acquisition
For Keys’s ex dono inscription, once probably found in this volume, see MS 53, History. For 1458 as the suggested date of writing see Watson, Exeter, pp. 85–87.
Exeter library identifications are: on the front pastedown, bookplate 3, and on it ‘173–F–4’, deleted and replaced by ‘213.E.5’; and ‘Coxe Liv’ (pencil).
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Exeter College Library.
Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College.
Last Substantive Revision
2020-04-29: First online publication