THE INGOLDISTHORPE PSALTER, in Latin and French, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
144 x 104mm. 275 leaves, apparently COMPLETE, final leaf a bifolio from a 14th-century Breviary with one- and two-line initials in blue flourished with red or red flourished with blue, 16 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 17 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 101x 63mm, rubrics in red, some line-endings in blue and red, text capitals touched yellow, one- and two-line initials of blue flourished with red or in red flourished with dark blue, three-line initials of burnished gold with grounds and infills in red and blue with white decoration, ONE SMALL MINIATURE and ELEVEN HISTORIATED INITIALS between seven and five lines high with staves of gold patterned with black on grounds of black patterned with white or staves of black patterned with white on gold grounds, ff.61 and 62 doodles of two mustachioed men (ff.1-8, 105-118 and 272-4 extensive stains, slight water staining to lower outer corner and edge of bottom margin of all folios, some smudging to most illuminated and historiated initials). 17th-century English black panelled calf over wooden boards ruled and stamped in blind, with central crowned thistle (rebacked, extremities rubbed).
A TIPTOFT MANUSCRIPT WITH GRISAILLE ILLUMINATION BY WILLEM VRELANT
1. The illumination shows the Psalter to have been made in Bruges and southern Netherlandish saints, such as Vedast and Amand (6 February), Gildard and Medard (8 June), Bertin (5 September), Lambert (17 September) and Bavo (1 October), are commemorated in the Calendar. British saints, however, predominate, showing that the book was made for the English market. In March, for instance, are David (1), Chad (2), Edward Martyr (18), Cuthbert (20). The Litany includes Gildard and Medard from the Netherlands and Alban, Swithin and Edith from England.
2. Joan Tiptoft, Lady Ingoldisthorpe (1425-1494), possibly the book's commissioner: Praye ffor the sowle of my Lady Ingoldesthorp appears on f.274v in a 15th- or early 16th-century hand. Joan Tiptoft was born in 1425, the daughter of John, created Lord Tiptoft and then Earl of Warwick, and Joyce, daughter and co-heiress of Edward, Lord Charleton, and Eleanor Holand; in 1435 Tiptoft married Joan to his ward Sir Edmund Ingoldesthorp of Borough Green, Cambridgeshire (d.1456). Lady Ingoldisthorpe was eventual co-heiress to her parents, when her brother, John Tiptoft, second Earl of Worcester, was executed in 1470. In her will, made shortly before her death in 1494, she asked to be buried in Blackfriars, London, where her brother lay (G.E.C., Complete Peerage; J. Roskell, L. Clark and C. Rawcliffe, The History of Parliament. The House of Commons 1386-1421, 1992, II, pp.475-477, IV, pp.620-628; J. Wedgwood, The History of Parliament. Biographies of Members of the Commons House 1439-1509,1936, p.493; W. Palmer, A History of the Parish of Borough Green, 1939, pp.59-60, 91-92). The second Earl of Worcester, who studied at Padua 1459-1461, had amassed a considerable collection of humanist manuscripts intended for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to raise the standard of Latin in England (Duke Humfrey's Library and the Divinity School, Bodleian Library, 1988, pp.70-80). His sister Joan's liking for fine books was met by Bruges, the traditional supplier of illuminated liturgical manuscripts to the English market; the second husband of their elder sister, Philippa, was Edward Grimston, who had been painted in Bruges by Petrus Christus in 1446.
3. Parish church of the Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, before the Reformation: feasts of St Milburga (23 Feb) and her invention (25 June) Inventio S. Milburge maius duplex in hac ecclesia parochiali Guenloc, f.6v, added to the Calendar; Milburga's cult centred on her relics in the Cluniac Priory at Wenlock, Shropshire. Joan, Lady Ingoldisthorpe, held some of her mother's family lands in Shropshire, at Lydham and Pontesbury, and may have acquired a devotion to St Milburga from her mother. Conceivably, Wenlock was the site of her chapel foundation, mentioned in her will without identifying details, to which the Psalter could have been given. The injunction to pray for her soul could have been added for Wenlock church, or the Priory on which the church depended.
4. In England in or after 1538 when St Thomas Becket and missa scored through in text. Brief liturgical annotations in English were added subsequently.
5. George Bennett: note on f.1 Geo Bennett 1755 emptus apud Ludlow, Shropshire
Calendar ff.1-12; prayer to Trinity ff.13-14v; benefits and indulgence given by St Boniface to the Mass in honour of the five Wounds of Christ ff.15-16v; Mass of the Five Wounds ff.17-20; Hours of the Lamentation of the Virgin ff.21-42, Psalter ff.43-245v; Canticles ff.245v-265v; Litany and prayers ff.265v-274v
Although Books of Hours had become the most common form of private devotional book, psalters were still occasionally made as separate volumes in the 15th century, more probably on commission than for the open market. This Psalter was clearly designed for England, where devotion to the Five Wounds was particularly popular. Given the comparative rarity of Psalters in the 15th century, it is noteworthy that two others are illuminated in the same style as the Ingoldisthorpe Psalter, Glasgow, University Library, MS General 288, and Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, Leuchtendes Mittelalter III, Catalogue XXVII, no 5.
The style and compositional patterns of the monochromes of the Ingoldisthorp Psalter are those of Willem Vrelant, active in Bruges from at least 1454 until his death in 1481, who produced at least one other book for the English market, the Hours of Sarum Use now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms Ludwig IX 8 (A. von Euw and J. Plotzek, Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig, II, 1982). The subjects used to illustrate the divisions of the Psalter are mostly the same as those in the two other Psalters attributed to Vrelant, which are illustrated with full-page miniatures in colour instead of grisaille historiated initials. In all three, Christ on the Cross for the Trinity loses the direct visual reference to the Psalm, where 'my Lord' is to sit at the Lord's right hand; the initial here, f.199, reuses the central group from the opening miniature by Vrelant in the Breviary of Philip the Good, Brussels, KBR, Ms 9026, f.1. The Deposition, f.17, is a miniaturised version of the scene in Ludwig IX 8, f.111 (von Euw and Plotzek, Abb.198). The opening Trinity initial, f.13, derives from the Eyckian miniature of the intercession of Christ and the Virgin, detached from the Turin-Milan Hours and now in the Louvre. Vrelant's contribution to the Llangattock Hours (J. Paul Getty Museum, Ludwig Ms IX 7) shows him in direct contact with the illuminators using these Eyckian designs. (For Vrelant and reproductions of his work, see: B. Bousmanne, 'Item a Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur', 1997.)
Vrelant and his shop worked in various forms of grisaille and semi-grisaille (see also lot 60). In the undamaged initials here, Vrelant's own characteristic delicacy of detail is still evident in the tiny highlights of gold and white, which define draperies, buildings and landscape forms. The figurative decoration in virtual monochrome is set off by the blue, red and gold of the flourished and illuminated initials, in turn set against the plain parchment of the wide undecorated margins. This shows the same colour preference as Philip the Good's monochrome Book of Hours now in The Hague (K.B. Ms 76 F 2) illuminated by Jean le Tavernier in the later 1450s, which, like many of Philip the Good's and then Charles the Bold's books, had no border decoration despite the overall luxury of the manuscript. Joan Ingoldisthorpe commissioned or obtained a Psalter in the height of Burgundian court fashion.
The subject of the small miniature is as follows:
f.16v Five Wounds depicted on a cloth held by four angels, who also bear the instruments of the Passion.
The subjects of the historiated initials are as follows:
Christ kneels as Intercessor, showing his side wound to the enthroned God the Father; the Dove of the Holy Ghost hovering between f.13, the Deposition f.17, the Lamentation f.21, David kneeling in a courtyard, his harp at his feet, before the Lord (Ps 1) f.43, David kneeling in a landscape, pointing to his eyes (Ps 26), f.73v, David in a landscape before the Lord (Ps 38) f.92, the Fool on a hobbyhorse in a room before David (Ps 52) f.110v, David standing in the waters of a river (Ps 68) f.129v, David playing the bells (Ps 80), f.153v, Clerics singing at a lectern (Ps 97) f.175, Trinity, the Father holding the Cross bearing the Son, the Dove hovering between (Ps 110) f.199.