Thursday, June 30, 2011
Historiated letter R from a late 11th or early 12th century copy of The Letters of Dunstan and the Life of St Dunstan (British Library, Arundel 17, fol, 2r). The Scribe in the initial is labeled "OSBEARNVS", who was the author of the Life, so this is initial also serves as an author portrait. This manuscript was probably made at Canterbury.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
An inhabited letter D from the "Wettinger Graduale" (Aarau, Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek, MsWettFm 3, folio 3r), a 14th century manuscript made in Cologne. Now in the Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek in Switzerland. The griffin inhabiting this initial was used several times in this manuscript. For example, compare this letter q from folio 52r.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
This is "LI" monogram from a the start of the Matthew in a gospel book in the British Library (Egerton 609, folio 8r). The text of the manuscript is in Carolingian minuscule, yet this is not at all what one thinks of being "Carolingian". With the knotwork and zoomorphi terminals, this initial is squarely within the Insular tradition represented by the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Another zoomorphic letter "S" also made with a compass, this time letter is formed of two birds and a fish. From the same manuscript, and presumably the same scribe as previous letter.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Zoomorphic letter "S" from a 7th or 8th century manuscript (St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 730) of the Edictus Rothari, the first written compilation of Lombardic law. The letter was obviously drawn using a compass to creating fish from the overlapping arcs.