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Core Record

Title [Manuscript illumination: Major Initial and Border]
Collection Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection
Date [late 13th century] - [early 14th century]
Id Number Current Accession F.31
Id Number Current Repository 1216
Inscription T.E.B. number "5332" (see Administration). Verso -"(4 for 5 guineas) 4"
Location Creation Site North Italy (Bologna?)
Subject Illuminated manuscripts;
Material Paint, (silver?) and gold leaf on parchment
Notes Manuscript fragment, mounted on card (in blue 'wallet' with F.32 )... May be related to F.124.1 and F.124.2. This 'Major' initial is a fine example of the 'Historiated Initial', that is a letter containing a scene or figures which may or may not relate to the text. The fact that this border has been cut down from its original size, seems to suggest that it comes from a rather large codex, probably a Monastic choir book, such as an Antiphonal or Gradual. The 'chorus' of Angels also seems to strengthen this claim. It is also worth noting that this is probably one of the finest and most striking objects in the collection.
This would have originally been part of the Central School's Teaching Examples Collection.
Object Notes Major Initial 'B', in a faded pink/beige hue (probably much lighter than the original colour) on a blue rectilinear ground (gilt at the edges). This major initial would have been incorporated within a large border, a partial rectilinear border with cusped decoration in gold leaf. This border has actually been cut down from the original size, probably by the Victorian bookseller who sold the piece. The border illumination also employs stylised ivy and golden 'dot' motifs; both of these decorative elements seem to suggest that the original manuscript was illuminated in Bologna, Northern Italy. The initial is also inhabited, by a choir of angels and the blue and beige areas contain decorative overpainting in white (though this may have originally been silver).
Rights University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection
Work Type Fine Art



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