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Walters Ms. W.198, Dominican Psalter

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Shelf mark



Dominican Psalter

Text title


This small psalter was made in Utrecht, Netherlands in the second half of the fifteenth century. The parchment is of fine quality, and the simplicity of its illumination, consisting of eight large foliate initials marking the ferial divisions of the Psalms, is appropriately restrained. References to St. Dominic in the calendar and litany indicate it was for Dominican use.


Second half of the 15th century CE


Utrecht, Netherlands






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Well-finished cream-colored parchment, medium thickness


Foliation: ii+212+ii

Two endpapers and two flyleaves of eighteenth-century paper, endpapers marbleized facing matching pastedowns; modern pencil foliation, upper right corners, rectos


Formula: 1(4), 2(2), 3-27(8), 28(6)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 5(2), 7(3), 15(4), 23(5), 31(6), 39(7), 47(8), 55(9), 63(10), 71(11), 79(12), 87(13), 95(14), 103(15), 111(16), 119(17), 127(18), 135(19), 143(20), 151(21), 159(22), 167(23), 175(24), 183(25), 191(26), 199(27), 207(28); quire 2 appears to be either two single leaves or a bifolium attached with glue to the first quire, and not stitched


7.2 cm wide by 11.2 cm high

Written surface

4.8 cm wide by 7.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 18
  3. Ruled in light purple ink

fols. 1r - 212v:
  1. Title: Psalter
  2. Hand note: Gothic bookhand, written in two sizes according to liturgical function; text accidentally skipped has been added by secondary hand in margins in a cursive hybrid hand (e.g., fols. 139v and 148v)
  3. Decoration note: Eight large decorated initials (7-8 lines) begin the eight major psalms, done in gold against blue and pink grounds, with white pen accents, and sprays of foliage in the upper and lower margins; smaller blue and red initials, some with pen decoration (2-3 lines) begin minor psalms; "KL" in calendar in alternating red and blue (2 lines); small (1 line) alternating red and blue initials begin each line of text throughout; rubrics in red; text in black ink
fols. 1r - 6v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies XXXI. luna XXX.
  3. Contents: Calendar for Dominican use, half-full, graded in red and black; notable saints include Aquinas, Vincent Ferrer, and Dominic
  4. Decoration note: "KL" in alternating blue and red (2 lines)
fols. 7r - 187r:
  1. Title: Ferial Psalter
  2. Incipit: Beatus vir
  3. Contents: Ferial psalter (Gallican), eight-partite division at Psalms 1, 26, 38, 52, 68, 80, 97, and 109
  4. Decoration note: Decorated initials mark the eight divisions in the Psalms, fols. 7r, 32v, 48v, 64v, 80v, 101r, 122r, and 144r
fols. 187r - 206r:
  1. Title: Canticles
  2. Incipit: Confitebor tibi
  3. Contents: Twelve canticles
fols. 206r - 212v:
  1. Title: Litany and collects
  2. Rubric: Letania
  3. Incipit: Kyrie eleison
  4. Contents: Saints of note: Dominic, Thomas, Vincent Ferrar, Catherine of Siena, Lebuinus of Utrecht


fol. 7r:

  1. W.198, fol. 7r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "B" (Beatus vir)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "B," 8 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 1

fol. 32v:

  1. W.198, fol. 32v
  2. Title: Foliate initial "D" (Dominus illuminatio)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 26

fol. 48v:

  1. W.198, fol. 48v
  2. Title: Foliate initial "D" (Dixi custodiam)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 38

fol. 64v:

  1. W.198, fol. 64v
  2. Title: Foliate initial "D" (Dixit insipiens)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 52

fol. 80v:

  1. W.198, fol. 80v
  2. Title: Foliate initial "S" (Salvum me)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "S," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 68

fol. 101r:

  1. W.198, fol. 101r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "E" (Exultate Deo)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "E," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 80

fol. 122r:

  1. W.198, fol. 122r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "C" (Cantate Domino)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "C," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 97

fol. 144r:

  1. W.198, fol. 144r
  2. Title: Foliate initial "D" (Dixit dominus)
  3. Form: Decorated initial "D," 7 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 109


The binding is not original.

Eighteenth-century Dutch binding, marbleized brown calf over paste-board, thin gold decoration around border of covers, with gold decoration and the word "Manuscriptu" inscribed on spine; marbleized pastedowns and matching flyleaves; edges of pages are gilded


Made in Utrecht, Netherlands, second half of the fifteenth century (must postdate 1455 due to inclusion of Vincent Ferrar in calendar); made for Dominican use (double invocation for Dominic in litany, is also in suffrages)

Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 774, cat. no. 108.


Principal cataloger: Marrow, James

Catalogers: Devine, Alex; Dutschke, Consuelo; Herbert, Lynley; Valle, Chiara

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Boot, Christine; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Pizzinato, Riccardo; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-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.