Treasures in the Royal Library

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Book of Psalms and other texts in Latin. Flanders 1500-1535.
GkS 1605 4º. Parchment, 318 ff.

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Fol. 25r: Avarice (Avaritia),
one of the seven deadly sins.
From “Mirror of Conscience”
(Speculum conscientie)
Fol. 42r: From “Mirror of
(Speculum conscientie)
Fol. 71r: From the Book of
Psalms (Psalmi)

The core of this manuscript is the 150 psalms from the Old Testament. It also contains a series of minor texts, including a “Mirror of Conscience”. The unique quality of the manuscript is not, however, related to the texts but to its artistic embellishment. Some pictures illustrate the text – i.a. the seven deadly sins – while others are purely ornamental: minute pictures of butterflies, flowers, fruits, insects, etc. decorate the margins of the manuscript.
It turned up in Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen in the spring of 1781, together with ten other manuscripts and other precious items. According to a contemporary report they were found in a chest that had not been opened since the days of King Frederik III ((b. 1609) 1648-1670). In November 1781 the manuscripts were handed over to the Royal Library.

21 x 14 cm.

See the entire manuscript on the website of the Manuscript and Rare Books Department Psalterium.

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© Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2004