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← search Alphabet Book W.200
Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

The medieval alphabet is illuminated in two different styles. Without any accompanying text, the original purpose of the book remains unclear, but scholars have suggested that it was a sample or model book for manuscript illuminators, or that it was intended as a gift. The book was rebound in the eighteenth century, and in the same century extensive notes, which have since been erased, were made alongside the initials.

Decoration Note

Twenty-four illuminated letters of the medieval alphabet (excludes J and V) in two alternating styles; Style 1: found on fols. 7v-8r, 9v-10r, etc.; stylistically tied to French 16th century illuminations; blue or rose initials with white patterning, ending in blue, orange, or rose foliate terminals, outlined in black, on black-outlined backgrounds of burnished and/or liquid gold, two or four green disks in corners of the background, infill of naturalistic flowers and fruits; Style 2: found on fols. 8v-9r, 10v-11r, etc.; stylistically tied to Dutch 15th century initials; burnished gold intials with lobed terminals, outlined in black, backgrounds in blue and deep red with white foliate patterning, floral motifs in some infills with lead tin yellow and malachite green detailing; Impression from a rectangular plaque in the front endleaves, showing a seated nimbed figure, possibly the Virgin Mary and Christ child

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Vinson, Aubrey

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Han, Yuna

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Vinson, Aubrey

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Loftie, W. J. Lessons in the Art of Illuminating, vol. 1. London, after 1874, p.4-7.


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p.828, no. 423.


Fruit and Flowers, Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art (1961), no. 4, illus. p.3 (fol. 8r).


Oliver, J. "Medieval Alphabet Soup: Reconstruction of a Mosan Psalter-Hours in Philadelphia and Oxford and the Cult of St. Catherine," Gesta 24/2 (1985): 138.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 2, Part 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992, pp. 643-644, app. 1.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

19bookmarkr

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
French
France
16th century
Document

Origin Place

Paris, France (?)

Date

Ca. 16th century CE

Form

book

Binding

Non-original Binding

Binding Description

Rebound in France, eighteenth century; pink brocade with floral and zig-zag striped patterning over boards, sewn on five bands; gilt edges; antique white paper pastedowns and first/last flyleaves, decorated with alternating rows of gold six-pointed asterisks and dots, turned green at edges, paper with matching pattern pasted over bottom 1.5-2cm on front and back boards and flyleaves, which conceal an inscription in capital letters; paper tag printed "83" at bottom of spine; green silk ribbon marker

Language

No linguistic content; Not applicable

Provenance

Created in the sixteenth century, likely in Paris

Rebound in eighteenth century France, truncated watermark on fol. 33 with date '1743'

Obliterated note in cursive hand on fol. 1r, likely eighteenth century

Note in dark brown ink, partly effaced "J... 609." on flyleaf iv, likely eighteenth century

Léon Gruel collection, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century; note in pencil "... 1183" on flyleaf iv; Gruel and Engelmann bookplate inscribed 'No. 1183'

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel between 1895 and 1900

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

← search Alphabet Book W.200

Origin Place

Paris, France (?)

Date

Ca. 16th century CE

Form

book

Language

No linguistic content; Not applicable

Provenance

Created in the sixteenth century, likely in Paris

Rebound in eighteenth century France, truncated watermark on fol. 33 with date '1743'

Obliterated note in cursive hand on fol. 1r, likely eighteenth century

Note in dark brown ink, partly effaced "J... 609." on flyleaf iv, likely eighteenth century

Léon Gruel collection, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century; note in pencil "... 1183" on flyleaf iv; Gruel and Engelmann bookplate inscribed 'No. 1183'

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel between 1895 and 1900

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

The medieval alphabet is illuminated in two different styles. Without any accompanying text, the original purpose of the book remains unclear, but scholars have suggested that it was a sample or model book for manuscript illuminators, or that it was intended as a gift. The book was rebound in the eighteenth century, and in the same century extensive notes, which have since been erased, were made alongside the initials.

Decoration Note

Twenty-four illuminated letters of the medieval alphabet (excludes J and V) in two alternating styles; Style 1: found on fols. 7v-8r, 9v-10r, etc.; stylistically tied to French 16th century illuminations; blue or rose initials with white patterning, ending in blue, orange, or rose foliate terminals, outlined in black, on black-outlined backgrounds of burnished and/or liquid gold, two or four green disks in corners of the background, infill of naturalistic flowers and fruits; Style 2: found on fols. 8v-9r, 10v-11r, etc.; stylistically tied to Dutch 15th century initials; burnished gold intials with lobed terminals, outlined in black, backgrounds in blue and deep red with white foliate patterning, floral motifs in some infills with lead tin yellow and malachite green detailing; Impression from a rectangular plaque in the front endleaves, showing a seated nimbed figure, possibly the Virgin Mary and Christ child

References

Contributors

Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Vinson, Aubrey

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Han, Yuna

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Vinson, Aubrey

Contributor: Wiegand, Kimber

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Loftie, W. J. Lessons in the Art of Illuminating, vol. 1. London, after 1874, p.4-7.


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p.828, no. 423.


Fruit and Flowers, Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art (1961), no. 4, illus. p.3 (fol. 8r).


Oliver, J. "Medieval Alphabet Soup: Reconstruction of a Mosan Psalter-Hours in Philadelphia and Oxford and the Cult of St. Catherine," Gesta 24/2 (1985): 138.


Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 2, Part 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992, pp. 643-644, app. 1.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

19bookmarkr

Lower board outside

Spine

Fore-edge

Head

Tail

Keywords
French
France
16th century
Document
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