Psalter (volume 2 of 2)

Southern Netherlandish (Bruges)
Medieval (Gothic)
mid-15th century

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Bruges, Flanders, South Netherlands


Overall (page dimensions): 11.7 x 8.2 cm (4 5/8 x 3 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera and ink and pencil (modern) with gold on parchment; bindings of red morocco over pasteboard with gilding and light blue thread endbands

Not On View





Volume 2 of a two-volume psalter (containing a collection of Psalms), this volume comprising 112 folios (ff.) and 4 leaves.

ff. 1 - 84: Psalms 80-150
ff. 84v - 103: Canticles [Six ferial canticles (Confitebor, Ego dixi, Exultavit cor meum, Cantemus domino, Domine audivi, Audite celi), Te deum, Benedicite omnia opera, New Testament Canticles (Benedictus deus israhel, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis), Athanasian creed (Quicumque vult salvus)]
ff. 103 - 108v: Litany and prayers

1 column of 21 text lines in Latin. Bounding lines blind, or purple or red plummet, full-length to top and bottom edges, writing lines blind or light purple or red plummet, first and last line full-length to outer margins. Modern arabic pencil foliation.

Written in a Gothic cursive in black ink. Psalm and canticle initials 2-line gold with salmon and blue infill and background, with white filigree, verse initials 1-line alternating blue with red, or gold with blue, line fillers in colors. Three ¾-page arch-topped miniatures in burnished gold frame with full borders of scrolling acanthus in colors with grotesques and gold leaves (see notes field for descriptions). One 11-line historiated initial in gold and colors with ¾-page border as above: f. 84v (Canticle of Isaiah, Is. 12:1-6): David striken in years - David elderly, crowned, and bedridden, attended by Nathan.

Binding: 18th-century red morocco over pasteboard, gilt corner stamps and fillet border on both covers. Gilt filigree turn-ins. Marbled pastedowns and endleaves. Paper flyleaves (no watermarks). Spine gilt with filigree, brown leather gilt title panel reads “Paslter/Davidi/Tom./II”, all edges gilt. Light blue thread endbands.


Bookplate of Matthias Bruen (1793 - 1829, New York City, NY), with arms and motto "Fides scutum" inside front cover, his signature on f. 108v, "M. Bruen/ Brighton House".


After 18th century, separated from first volume [see note 1]. By 1829, Matthias Bruen (1793 - 1829), New York [see note 2]; By 1895, by descent to his daughter Frances D. Bruen (Mrs. Charles C. Perkins) (d. 1909); 1909, by descent to her son Charles B. Perkins [see note 3]; 1922, sold by Charles B. Perkins to the MFA for $1500 [see note 4]. (Accession Date: March 2, 1922)

[1] The first volume of the set is in the same style binding as the MFA volume. The two volumes were separated sometime after they were bound in the 18th-century. [2] Bookplate of Matthias Bruen, with arms and motto "Fides scutum" inside front cover, his signature on f. 108v, "M. Bruen/ Brighton House." [3] Lent by Mrs. Charles C. Perkins to the MFA, November 27, 1895. After her death, this manuscript was transferred to her son, Charles B. Perkins, and returned to him on March 23, 1921. [4] MFA accession numbers 22.375-22.379 were purchased together for $1500.

Credit Line

Frank S. Adams Fund