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Manuscript - Copy from the <i>Howard Psalter</i>
  • Copy from the Howard Psalter
    Shaw, Henry, born 1800 - died 1873
  • Enlarge image

Copy from the Howard Psalter

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (illuminated)

  • Date:

    ca. 1866-1868 (illuminated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shaw, Henry, born 1800 - died 1873 (illuminator)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Water-based pigments, gilding and ink on parchment

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 81, box X

Henry Shaw was a prolific recorder of medieval artefacts. He was mainly interested in manuscripts (hand-written books). In 1864 he was asked to evaluate the V&A's collection of 'Illuminations'. He criticised the collection because he thought that German and Italian illumination of the later medieval period was over-represented. He suggested that the Museum should commission him to make copies rather than collect expensive originals. It could choose from a list of famous manuscripts that he would supply.

In 1866 the V&A spent nearly £100 acquiring facsimile copies of well-known manuscripts. They added a new dimension to the V&A collection. They provided examples of the marvellously inventive English Psalters of the 14th century. This example shows typical anecdotal border ornament.

Physical description

Specimen of a manuscript

Place of Origin

London (illuminated)


ca. 1866-1868 (illuminated)


Shaw, Henry, born 1800 - died 1873 (illuminator)

Materials and Techniques

Water-based pigments, gilding and ink on parchment


Height: 33.8 cm, Width: 23.5 cm

Descriptive line

Copy by Henry Shaw from the Howard Psalter, made in England in the early 14th century; England (London); ca 1866-1868



Subjects depicted

Birds; Rabbit; Deer; Owl; The Tree of Jesse; Prophets; Squirrel


Christianity; Religion; Manuscripts


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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