The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

Scroll including a prayer against colic with a note mentioning Magdala

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A scroll made of two pieces of parchment from the mid 19th century with drawings and two prayers against colic. A note mentioning Magdala 1868 is written in English across one of the pictures.

Where: Princeton University Library, Manuscripts Division, One Washington Road, Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA

Listed as Princeton Ethiopic Magic Scroll No. 172 in the catalogue –

Provenance: Written across the first drawing in a Western hand is “Madglla [sic] Abyssinia, April 13/1868” and on the reverse is a paper label reading “Presented by Rev. R Hackwell, member of the American Presbyter[ian] Mission, Rawal Pindi Northern India []0th July 1874,” over which is written in a different hand “Jan. 1899 Pres. by Alan Marquand.”

The university’s manuscript division as a whole has more than 600 Ethiopic works. There is also an illuminated manuscript, a diptych icon and a hand cross in the Princeton University Art Museum. But none mention Magdala in their provenance.

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