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PSALTER, PRAYERS AND HYMNS, in Ge'ez, illuminated Ethiopic manuscript on vellum

PSALTER, PRAYERS AND HYMNS, in Ge'ez, illuminated Ethiopic manuscript on vellum
[18th or 19th century]
162 x 116mm. i+149+i leaves: 13 (of 4), 23 (i & ii a bifolium, iii on stub of front fly-leaf), 3-1012, 1111 (of 12, x cancelled), 12-1412, 23 lines written in black and red ink on a scored ruling of 23 horizontals and 2 verticals, justification: 120 x 92mm, prickings in outer border, final 13 folios double column of 28 lines, 15 ornamental painted headpieces, small marginal miniature and SEVEN FULL-PAGE ILLUMINATED MINIATURES (some thumbing and smudging of early text leaves, slight rubbing of some miniatures). Original panelled red leather over wooden boards stamped in blind, remains of seal inside upper cover (slightly rubbed).


The priest Warku: his ownership note with anathema on f.148.


Prefatory miniatures ff.1-5; Prayer for Walda Sellase on the small inserted leaf f.6; Psalter, with 151 Psalms, 15 Canticles from the New and Old Testaments, Song of Songs, Praises of Mary, Hymns by Ephraim, Hymns by Yared ff.7-148; added texts at end ff.148-149: transfer of land ownership, magic prayer against spells, prayer against an enemy, prayer to entice a woman to love


The miniatures, which all precede the text, are bold and colourful and characteristic of Ethiopian painting of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The subects of the miniatures are:

f.1v Virgin and Child with priest and angels
f.2v St George on a white horse killing the dragon
f.3 Crucifixion with the Virgin and John the Evangelist
f.4 Cross
f.4v Trinity
f.5 Turbaned prophet
f.5v David harping
f.136v. small marginal painting of Virgin and Child

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