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Luttrell, Sir Geoffrey - The Luttrell Psalter Limited Edition - ( Item 139676 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2006. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Facsimile edition. 5 raised bands to spine, all edges gilded, with introductory booklet. Both housed in custom made clamshell box. Top edge is smooth, leading edge and bottom edge are slightly rough cut (deliberately in production to reproduce original parchement pages) and consequently have very minor damage to the gilt edges. Illuminated text is in Latin. Numbered copy 183 from a limited edition of 1480. Exquisitely produced unpaginated facsimile of a 14th century Illuminated manuscript with 206 page separate commentary. Presented in a hand-made solander box, with a leather label, the Psalter is accompanied by Professor Michelle P. Brown's fascinating scholarly commentary. Bound in the finest grade Nigerian goatskin. Blocked with a design by David Eccles using gold, silver and coloured foils. The binding design using motifs from the Psalter and the Luttrell coat of arms of six martlets argent.Over 600 pages of illuminations. 624 Pages. 14" x 9". Numerous medieval manuscripts can boast glorious illuminations and lavish decorations, but nowhere else is the reality of medieval life depicted with such vitality as in The Luttrell Psalter. With over 600 richly adorned pages the sheer number of illustrations is awesome, their quality breathtaking. Truly one of the foremost and famous cultural treasure-troves of Western Europe, The Luttrell Psalter has been plundered for almost every book, documentary and film on the Middle Ages. In medieval times, the creation of magnificent illuminated manuscripts was both a demonstration of piety and a symbol of the great wealth and power of the kings or lords who commissioned them. Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276-1345) was a knight and baron whose wealth, dynastic alliances and military record placed him firmly among the English elite. His family Psalter, begun in the year 1332 and the work of over ten years, became a priceless legacy. 'Let them that detract me be clothed with shame,' reads the opening line of the 108th Psalm, 'I will give thanks to the Lord with my mouth: and in the midst of many I will thank him.' Sir Geoffrey Luttrell had much to thank God for. Part of the new nobility, his family had prospered under King John, played their cards cleverly during the troubled reign of Edward II and cemented lands and alliances under Edward III. By the time of his death, Sir Geoffrey owned estates in Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, and the emphasis of the manuscript on rural scenes reflects this great land-holding. Indeed, the illustrations may even commemorate actual events, like Sir Geoffrey's building of a watermill at Bridgeford. A masterpiece of Gothic art, The Luttrell Psalter opens a window onto the Middle Ages, providing intimate portraits of the family of a nobleman, rarely seen in Psalters (Sir Geoffrey's daughter-in-law wears fashionable sleeves, his wife does not); and exquisitely detailed images of everyday life - even the pegs that hold tension on a plough are depicted. There is a sense of delight and humour in the pictures which is unparalleled - two men sling a hammock from the very text of the Psalms, while decorative borders are formed by acrobats and stilt walkers. Admired equally is the menagerie of grotesque creatures that stalk the margins. Bizarre hybrids of man and beast, body parts rearranged to parody or praise Creation, which plunge us into the deepest recesses of the medieval imagination. Much of our knowledge of medieval games, festivities and farming practices comes directly from this work - making it one of the most important of historical resources.

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