Friday, 18 February 2011

Beauty of the human hand, part 1 of 3 - manuscript leaf.

 Early piece  manuscript on vellum, used as part of a later binding to cover inside back board, with red  illuminated initial,   pre c1450. Sacred books and Bibles were copied by monks in "carols" (small cubicles) set up in  the cloisters of the monasteries and great cathedrals, monks were known to speak the words as they wrote them. The copyists wrote on vellum which was a specially prepared skin, used natural quills,  and  two major types of ink - basically black encaustic, and a mixed common lampblack. Coloured inks were mainly red and blue, though gold etc was used for specially illuminated works. Introduction of moveable type and the printing press in c1455 signalled the demise of handwritten works.

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