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Psalter

Psalterium

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
Germany; Middle 13th Century
Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script
20 by 14 cm

The line ending of a fish, elongated or shortened as the space required, and the grinning expression of the fish emblem have in some book circles given these German Psalters the nickname "Laughing Carp" Psalters. The fish, as is well known, was one of the earliest and most common symbols for Christ. An early acrostic, IESOUS CHRISTOS THEOU HUIOS SOTER (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior), is based on the letters in the Greek word for fish, ICHTHUS. The lozenge heads on top of many of the vertical pen strokes are characteristic of German manuscripts.
Keywords: 1200s, Bible, decoration, formal, Germany, gothic, initials, Old Testament, Psalter, script

Manuscripts | Cary Collection