Home > Digitized Walters Manuscripts

This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.

Walters Ms. W.114, Psalter, with Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office

Browse images (Browse images in a new window) | TEI in XML format

Shelf mark



Psalter, with Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office

Text title


This psalter was produced ca. 1250-75 in a region of northeastern France that was at the time considered Flanders. The manuscript seems to have been transported to Italy, on the evidence of textual additions associated with the Italian Cistercians, ownership by a person affiliated with the Italian Cistercian foundation, and ownership by Bartolomeus dala Vale. The manuscript is incomplete as well as misbound, containing Psalms, canticles, and the Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office. There are seven extant historiated initials and occasional penwork creatures.


Ca. 1250-1275 CE


Northeast France (French Flanders)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin. The secondary language of this manuscript is Italian.

Support material


Thin to medium-weight parchment, fairly heavily grimed; flyleaf i is parchment added in the fourteenth century


Foliation: i+213

Modern pencil foliation, upper right corners, rectos


Formula: Quire 1: 2, bifolio that has been bound in reverse (fols. 1-2); Quires 2-5: 10 (fols. 3-42); Quire 6: 10, with the fifth and sixth folios removed and misbound as quire 1 (fols. 43-50); Quire 7: 10 (fols. 51-60); Quire 8: 10, with the first folio missing (fols. 61-69); Quires 9-20: 10 (fols. 70-189); Quire 21: 8, with the first folio cancelled (fols. 190-196); Quires 22-23: 8 (fols. 197-213)

Catchwords: Catchword visible only on fol. 204v

Signatures: None

Comments: Manuscript misbound; see Psalter part for reconstruction of correct order


9.2 cm wide by 14.0 cm high

Written surface

8.4 cm wide by 6.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16-18
  3. Ruled in lead; fol. 213r-v not ruled; layout does not apply to additional fols. 190r-213r: ruling in brown-black ink with 20 line columns and written space 10 x 7 cm

fols. 1r - 213v:
  1. Title: Psalter
  2. Contents: Psalter with Cistercian Ordinary for ferial office, added in the fifteenth century
  3. Hand note: Textura; different hands in Psalter and additions; several hands involved in secondary decoration evinced by the alternation of conventional and creative sequences
  4. Decoration note: Seven historiated initials in uniform style except for the more artful initials beginning Psalms 26 and 38 (8-9 lines); decorated illuminated initials at secondary texts in gold letters, alternating between rose, blue, or mauve backgrounds (2 lines); flourished versals in blue and red with endings in foliage, dragon, and bird design; variety of line fillers including a man's legs and a bird with long, crooked feet (1 line); additional fols. 190r-213r contain non-decorated red initials (2 lines); main text in black ink with additions in brown ink
fols. 1r - 178v:
  1. Title: Psalms
  2. Incipit: Dixi custodiam
  3. Contents: Incomplete and misbound nine-partite biblical psalter; correct order as follows: fols. 3v-46v: Psalm 1.1-37.11; fol. 2r-v: Psalm 37.12-23 (end of psalm); fol. 1r-v: Psalm 38.1-11; fols. 47r-60v: Psalm 38.12-50.10; fols. 61v-178v: Psalm 51.4-150
  4. Decoration note: Seven historiated initials: fols. 1r, 30r, 61v, 78v, 99r, 117v, and 137v
fols. 178v - 189v:
  1. Title: Weekly Canticles
  2. Incipit: Confitebor tibi
  3. Contents: Weekly canticles include the following openings: "Confitebor tibi...Ego dixi...Exultauit cor...Cantemus domino...Domine audiui...Audite celi...Benedicite omnia...(imperfect ending) laudet et super exaltet eum in secula."
fols. 190r - 196r:
  1. Title: Additional Weekly Canticles
  2. Incipit: Benedicite montes
  3. Contents: Fols. 190r-196r continues weekly canticles in a ca. fourteenth/fifteenth century hand: "Benedicite montes et colles...Te deum...Benedictus dominus...Canticum beate marie. Magnificat ania...Oracia domenicca [sic]. Pater noster...Credo in deum...Quicumque uult..."
  4. Hand note: Fourteenth/fifteenth-century Italian hand
fols. 197r - 212v:
  1. Title: Added Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office
  2. Rubric: Sabbato ante domenicam .i. per octavam epiphanie ad vesperas Capitulum
  3. Incipit: Benedicta deus
  4. Contents: Fols. 197r-208v is the Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office, covering the entire liturgical year; fols. 208v-212v is the Office of the Dead for use by the Cistercians; fol. 212v contains cues for prayers
  5. Hand note: Fifteenth-century Italian hand; different hand than the one seen in fols. 190r-196v
fols. 213r - 213v:
  1. Title: Added Psalm 1 and Comment
  2. Incipit: Beatus vir qui
  3. Contents: Sixteenth- or seventeenth-century addition in an Italian hand; contains the beginning of Psalm 1 as well as the following comment: "Iste est calorius salterii [sic] sicut in diebus post transmigrationem babilonis . . . /. . . et sic de singulis faciebat usque in finem."
  4. Hand note: Sixteenth- or seventeenth-century cursive Italian hand


fol. 1r:

  1. W.114, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with King David and Christ
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 9 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 38

fol. 30r:

  1. W.114, fol. 30r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with God blessing praying man (likely David)
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 13 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 26

fol. 61v:

  1. W.114, fol. 61v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with fool and devil
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 12 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 52

fol. 78v:

  1. W.114, fol. 78v
  2. Title: Initial "S" with Christ blessing from heaven while David is half-submerged in water
  3. Form: Historiated initial "S," 16 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 68

fol. 99r:

  1. W.114, fol. 99r
  2. Title: Initial "E" with King David ringing bells
  3. Form: Historiated initial "E," 8 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 80

fol. 117v:

  1. W.114, fol. 117v
  2. Title: Initial "C" with three clerics in front of lectern
  3. Form: Historiated initial "C," 8 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 97

fol. 137v:

  1. W.114, fol. 137v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with the Trinity
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 15 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 109


The binding is not original.

Rebound in the nineteenth century, dark olive green velvet binding; modern cast metal ring at the middle fore-edge of the upper cover; cast fastening-plate centered at the fore-edge of the lower cover


Created in northeastern France (French Flanders), third quarter of the thirteenth century

Owner associated with the Italian Cistercian foundation, ca. fourteenth or fifteenth century; Italian hand added lines on fols. 197r-212v in the fifteenth century as part of the Cistercian Ordinary for ferial Office

Bartholomeus dala Vale, seventeenth-century; inscription on flyleaf i, r: "D BARTOLOMEUS DALA VALE HUNC/ POSSEDET LIB/ RUM/ IO. BAPT. STR:"; name copied in capitals on tail-edge of manuscript

Alphonse Labitte, Paris, nineteenth century; armorial bookplate containing motto "EXCELSIOR" on front pastedown

Bernard Quaritch, London, cat. 269 (1908), no. 426; cat. 290 (1910), no. 212

Leo S. Olschki, Florence, early twentieth century; Olschki's number, invoice number "33573" on front pastedown

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Olschki between 1910 and 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 772, cat. no. 96.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 1. France, 875-1420. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 81-82, cat. no. 35.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Bucca, Lauren

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bucca, Lauren; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.