(France, mid-13th century). 153 x 103 mm. (6 x 4"). Double column, 50 lines in a very fine gothic pearl script.

Capitals struck in red, introductory verse of each Psalm in red, many one-line initials in red or blue, eight two-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork running the entire length of the page, AND A FIVE-LINE HISTORIATED INITIAL OF KING DAVID BLESSING A CRIPPLED MAN (probably Mephibosheth). AN EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE LEAF with a particularly pleasing initial and an interesting visual pattern of rubrication.

This is an intriguing leaf in the way it departs from similar Bibles of the period. First, the historiation here illustrates a scene from the life of David, rather than suggests the content of Psalm 52, which opens, "The fool said in his heart: There is no God." The incident depicted comes from II Samuel: David takes in the son of his dearest friend Jonathan, a lame man named Mephibosheth. The king brings him to court and cares for him, for the love of his father. Here we see Mephibohseth on crutches, eating bread, for David had said, "Mephibosheth . . . shall always eat bread at my table." Another departure from the usual here is the way rubrics are displayed. At the beginning of each Psalm, the scribe, atypically, has written in the formal, repetitive introductory line ("In finem," etc.), and sometimes this occupies quite a large space, an area comprising parts of as many as 11 lines at the right edge of the column in question. The result is a noticeable expanse of red, which makes the page look a good deal more interesting than normal.

Keywords: Bibles