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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Cuerden psalter
England, Oxford, ca. 1270
MS M.756 fol. 11r

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Psalm 001 (Vulg., 001).
Initial B, decorated with foliate ornament, animal heads, and fantastic animal:
Upper Part of the B:
1) David and Musicians -- David, crowned, seated with legs crossed on bench, plays harp, flanked by two standing youths, wearing bicolored tunics, one playing viol, the other striking drum and playing fife.
Figures beneath arcade of trefoil arches, against gold diapered background.
Lower Part of the initial B:
2) Solomon: Judgment -- Mother, wearing snood, head inclined, raises hands, beside man, in tunic, with right hand holding sword and with left hand holding right leg of nude infant upside down with left leg held by another mother, wearing snood, all before Solomon, crowned, with scepter in right hand and left hand raised, seated on bench of animal type (only foreparts of two animals), behind which male attendant raises right hand; in foreground lies corpse of infant.
Scene beneath arcade, against gold diapered background.
Terminal volutes of the initial B:
3) in upper volute, crowned King, David writing Psalms, as scribe, holds pen and knife, seated on bench, beside lectern.
4) in lower volute, crowned king, possibly David or Solomon, as scribe, sits on chair, with pen in right hand writing IN EODEM on scroll on lectern.
Figures against gold punched backgrounds.
Upper margin:
Two confronting storks; winged, hooded male hybrid musician with animal legs, playing cornetto, confronting hooded male hybrid with animal legs; hybrid of bird, bearded male face, and animal legs confronting animal with behind of human face; centaur with axe (?) and buckler, dog, and male hybrid with animal legs as archer, shooting with bow at the centaur.
Left margin:
Hooded male hybrid with body of dog, hooded male hybrid with stork legs and long tail, male gryllus, and male hybrid with stork (?) legs.
Lower margin:
On foliate platform bar with three animal heads, six male hybrids, two hooded, two wearing dunce hats, four with animal legs, two with bird legs, and two birds including stork.
Among trees on second bar, hunter blows curved horn and holds two dogs on leash, all following two dogs pursuing stag; at right, hunter as archer with bow shoots at deer attacked by one of three dogs (hunting scene).
Right margin:
On foliate bar, man raises hands toward stork; hooded male hybrid with animal legs; bird (?).

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