(Germany: mid-13th century). 195 x 142 mm. (7 3/4 x 5 5/8"). Single column, 20 lines in an excellent gothic book hand.

Matted in large paper sleeve. Versal initials in blue with red penwork or burnished gold with blue penwork, one two-line initial in burnished gold on pink and blue ground, and NUMEROUS PENWORK LINE FILLERS, MANY OF WHICH ARE IN THE SHAPE OF ELONGATED FISH. Gwara, "Otto Ege's Manuscripts" no. 10. A little general soiling and light staining, but A FINE LEAF WITH AMPLE MARGINS.

This appealing leaf, full of whimsy and imagination, comes from a Psalter once owned by famed biblioclast Otto Ege and included with his "Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts." Mounted in Ege's distinctive ivory paper sleeve with red ruling, the present leaf matches no. 10 on Scott Gwara's handlist. Ege's original description observed, "The line endings of a fish, elongated or shortened as the space required, and the grinning expression of the fish emblem have given these German Psalters the nickname 'Laughing Carp' Psalters. The fish was one of the earliest and most common symbols for Christ. An early acrostic, IESOUS CHRISTOS THEOU HUOIOS SOTER (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour), is based on the letters in the Greek word for fish, ICTHUS."