Cabale misterieuse des 150 pseaumes du Roy David [manuscript].

[France?, between 1750 and 1799]
124 leaves : paper ; 212 x 162 (168 x 118) mm. bound to 215 x 168 mm.
Bible. Psalms.
Cabala -- Early works to 1800.
Magic -- Early works to 1800.
Occultism -- Early works to 1800.
Manuals (instructional materials)
Manuscripts, French -- 18th century.
Manuscripts, European.
Instructions on the magical use of the psalms divided into one section for each psalm. The text begins with an introduction explaining that the magic of the psalms may only be used by those with faith, humility, and devotion and that the practitioner will therefore live happily, but that they may never be used for vengeance, avarice, passion, or curiosity (f. 1r-2v). Each section includes the first line of the psalm, its uses by King David and according to various saints and figures such as Cassiodorus who claimed that psalms could be used for victory over one's enemies in war provided that the war was a just one (f. 40r), and applications for practical magic such as calming a crying baby (f. 10r), escaping the hands of privateers or assassins (f. 11v), ensuring that a husband avoids temptation and loves his wife (f. 40r), stopping a nosebleed (f. 44r), and demonic possessions (f. 60r). Practical instructions include recitations of the psalms and writing of magical characters on surfaces such as thresholds, kid skin parchment using pigeon's blood (f. 76v), or individuals using olive oil. The end of each section includes a pen and ink drawing of the magical character to be used for that particular psalm's practical instructions.
Ms. codex.
Foliation: Paper, i (contemporary paper) + 124 + i (contemporary paper); [i], 1-123; contemporary foliation in ink, upper right recto.
Layout: Written in 16-18 long lines.
Script: Written in a cursive script by a single hand.
Decoration: Pen and ink drawings of magical characters throughout.
Binding: Contemporary pasteboards.
Origin: Written in France[?] in the second half of the 18th century.
Local notes:
Purchased with support from the B. H. Breslauer Foundation.
Penn Provenance:
Formerly owned by Charles Rainsford (British army officer, fellow of the Royal Society, and alchemist); bequeathed by Rainsford to Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland.
Owned by the 2nd through 12th Dukes of Northumberland, ms. 579, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, 1809-2014 (bookplate, inside upper cover; stamp, f. 1r).
Sold at auction at Sotheby's (London), 15 July 2014, as part of Lot 411.
Cited as:
UPenn Ms. Codex 1668.
Rainsford, Charles, 1728-1809, former owner.
Northumberland, Hugh Percy, Duke of, 1742-1817, former owner.
Charles Rainsford Collection of Alchemical and Occult Manuscripts (University of Pennsylvania)
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