The Queen Mary Psalter is one of the most valuable books kept in the collection of the British Library.
The 800 miniatures, historiated initials and bas-de-page scenes of this magnificent illuminated manuscript is believed to be crafted by a single unknown artist in 14c London. The original owner remains a mystery, but the fine quality and the considerable expense in having it made suggests a royal patron. The first recorded owner is Queen Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, by whose name the book is known to this day. The single illuminator created a book abundant with colour and story.
The book begins with a cycle of 223 colourful illustrations of the Old Testament. The bas-de-page images are 464 little stories of medieval life – falconry and deer hunts - along with scenes of court life and imagined mythological creatures all feature in the pages along with the gold-decorated religious iconographies.
The Queen Mary Psalter is a magnificent work of Gothic Art. The detail and craftsmanship will absorb, enchant and entertain any reader of this collector’s piece.
This perfect facsimile edition of The Queen Mary Psalter is strictly limited to only 480 copies worldwide.
The painstaking work needed to craft a facsimile of a national treasure took years of planning and negotiations with the British Library. Every page of the Psalter was photographed on site, before two lithographers undertook the long process of working on the proofs to ensure the perfect reproduction of colour and patina.
The Queen Mary Psalter for you to own
British Library, Royal MS 2 B. VII
Date of origin:
Place of Origin:
Believed to be London
27.5 x 17.5 cm
638 pages (319 leaves)
An anonymous illuminator named the “Queen Mary Master”
374 miniatures and 223 tinted drawings, 464 bas-de-page-scenes in delicately tinted grisaille drawing, 23 historiated initials, numerous multi-line coloured initials with gold, punched gold grounds, radiant gold leaf, shimmering brushed gold, luminous colours and silver
Dark-red leather binding featuring ornate gold embossing on its spine, decorated with gilt and punched metal corner pieces and engraved fittings for clasps
Commentary Volume of the Facsimile Edition by Nigel Morgan / Lynda Dennison / Delbert Russell