Collections’ Highlights

Collection ID





ca. 1400–1420, with additions ca. 1440–1450






Ink on Vellum


11 3/4 × 8 1/4 × 1 7/8 in. (29.8 × 21 × 4.8 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Translating the Bible

A Gallican Psalter contains the text of Jerome’s second translation of the Psalms into Latin. Gregory of Tours brought this translation to Gaul (modern France), from where it takes its name. A ferial Psalter arranges the psalms in liturgical order according to the canonical hours. It also includes additional readings and chants. This gorgeous, 15th-century psalter likely came from the region around Barcelona, although the calendar of saints’ feast days also suggests an association with Santiago de Compostela. Pages bordered with a delicate floral design are interspersed with pages containing a complete border. The initials shine with gold and brilliant colors.

Created in the region around Barcelona in the early 15th century, with additions from the middle of the same century.[1] Probably used by a cleric in the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela.[2] Perhaps owned by a Dionisio Camacho in 1748.[3] Acquired by William Davignon (1867–1924), who had it rebound in a red leather binding by Carl Sonntag (1883–1930) between 1908 and 1913.[4] Auctioned in 1985 by Sotheby’s.[5] Acquired before 1987 by Sammlung Beckers, Düsseldorf, Germany.[6] Acquired by 2008 by Dr. Jörn Günther;[7] Purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2012 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[8]

Notes: [1] Joachim M. Plotzek gave this date range in Andachstbücher des Mittelalters aus Privatbesitz (Schnütgen-Museum: Köln, 1987), 151–155. He argued that the Aragonese style was supplemented by additions in the style of Avignon. [2] This is based on the calendar, which contains the feasts of several saints associated with the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela. [3] The name Dionisio Camacho with the date 1748 was written at the bottom of folio 27, but later erased. [4] The book collector William Davignon was born in Liège, Belgium, but lived much of his life in Leipzig, Germany. His gold ex libris bookplate is inside both covers. Carl Sonntag was a famous bookbinder who operated a business from 1908 to 1913 dedicated to making high-quality bindings for wealthy customers. He closed his business at the height of his fame. Davignon appears to have been a frequent customer of Sonntag. A copy of the Mathnawī by Jalāl al-Dīn al-Rūmī found in the collection of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Ms. or. oct. 3817) has a green binding that is remarkably similar to the Ottoman-inspired red cover of the Psalterium Gallicanum Feriatum, and it has identical, gold ex libris bookplates (see A copy of the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes contains the Davignon ex libris and the Sonntag stamp on the binding (see Davignon’s collection seems to have been sold piecemeal after his death in 1924, at least some of it by Antiquariat Hiersemann of Leipzig. [5] Sotheby’s catalog, Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 25 June 1985 (Sotheby’s: London, 1985), Lot 74. [6] The manuscript appears in the exhibition catalog Joachim M. Plotzek, Andachstbücher des Mittelalters aus Privabesitz (Schnütgen-Museum: Köln, 1987), Nr. 43, 151–155. At this time, Plotzek did not identify the owner. This identification appears in his later catalog, Ars vivendi, ars moriendi (Hirmer Verlag: Munich, 2001), 230, where he refers to his earlier catalog. [7] Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat, Masterpieces (Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat: Hamburg, 2008), Lot 13, 76–81. [8] ALR reference number S00129913.

Select References:

Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat, Masterpieces, (Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat: Hamburg, 2008), Lot 13.

Joachim M. Plotzek, Katharina Winnekes, Stefan Kraus, and Ulrike Surmann, Ars vivendi, ars moriendi (Hirmer Verlag: Munich, 2001).

Joachim M. Plotzek, Andachstbücher des Mittelalters aus Privatbesitz (Schnütgen-Museum: Köln, 1987).

Sotheby’s London, Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 25 June 1985 (Sotheby’s: London, 1985), Lot 74.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Jerry A. Pattengale, ed., Museum of the Bible Curriculum (Museum of the Bible and Compedia Software & Hardware Ltd., 2016–2017).

Questions about our Collections?

Visit Contact Us Page

(866) 430-MOTB

To acquire permission to use this image, please visit our Rights and Reproduction page .

More From The Collections

Paris Pocket Bible

ca. 1230–1260
Paris, (France), or possibly England

Gospel Book (“Evanis” Gospels / GA 2929)

ca. AD 1050–1100
© Museum of the Bible 2024
Designed by PlainJoe