1510 Font Friday

Decorative initials A and B

From the Public Domain Review. See also my post 1595 Font Friday

16th-Century Pattern Book for Scribes (ca. 1510)

This scribal pattern book—dated to around 1510 from Swabia, Germany—was made by Gregorius Bock and is addressed to his cousin Heinrich Lercher Wyss, who was the official scribe of the duchy of Württemberg, most likely put together with the purpose of aiding Wyss in the refining of his art. The first part includes alphabets in various scripts with the second part presenting some decorative initials. Some of the styles found in the book include gothic textura, round gothic, round humanistic, as well as the unusual inclusion of letters and texts from Greek and Hebrew script. Bock may himself have been a monk in the Benedictine monastery of Ochsenhausen in whose library the manuscript was found.

Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions

Broidery on a medieval page

Hole in manuscrip repaired with embroidery

Erik Kwakkel is a medieval book historian at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He says, “I post images of medieval books and share with you what’s special about them.” His blog inspired an earlier post of mine, Cats Haven’t Changed Much,” about 15th-century cats walking with inky paws across (or urinating on) a manuscript.

Holes in the pages of medieval books are common. They were easily made (by the parchment maker’s knife), as in this wonderful case. Fixing it by stitching the hole together with strings of parchment is also common: parchment makers did it all the time, leaving behind “scars” on the page. What is totally unusual, however, is the repairs seen in this 14th-century book in Uppsala, Sweden. The damage is repaired, or at least masked, by good old broidery. It was done by the nuns who purchased the book in 1417. It is delightful to think that they took the effort to make a medieval hole disappear by replacing it with patterns like this, made up from pieces of silk in the most vivid of colors.

Pics: website of University Library Uppsala. More information about the preservation of this manuscript here.

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Cats haven’t changed much

Inky cat pawprints on 15th century manuscript

Inky cat pawprints on 15th century manuscriptFrom medievalfragments:

Everyone who has ever owned a cat will be familiar with their unmannerly feline habit of walking across your keyboard while you are typing. One of the manuscript pictures tweeted by @erik_kwakkel [link] revealed that this is nothing new.…

Cat urine on manuscriptAlthough the medieval owner of this manuscript may have been quite annoyed with these paw marks on his otherwise neat manuscript, another fifteenth-century manuscript reveals that he got off lucky.  A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before.

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