Things I've picked up along the way...

erikkwakkel:

Medieval souvenirs

Thin pieces of metal that are bluntly attached to precious illuminated pages. It is not something you see every day in a medieval book - or imagined to see at all in such delicate objects. They are pilgrim’s badges, mementos purchased during pilgrimages to holy sites in medieval Europe. They are really not very different from the Eiffel Towers, baseball caps or Big Bens that we carry home in our suitcases today: they are mass-produced, cheap and highly portable souvenirs. If you went to see the shrine of St Thomas Becket, you would take a badge home, partly to show that you had been (like this one). The badges above are special because the pilgrim attached them to the pages of his prayerbook when he came home, which is how they survived. The shiny pieces of metal are religious instruments, of course, but they also proudly emphasize that the owner of the book went on a real pilgrimage: been there, done that!

Pics: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce MS 51 (Book of Hours, Flanders, c. 1490). More images and information here. More about medieval pilgrimages hereA safer (but not cheaper) alternative was to have pilgrim’s badges painted into a book (here).

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows… well I’m not quite sure! Is the bishop blessing this chap’s behind? Or is he mocking the bishop? No idea, but it’s an excellent example of the drollery, a comic marginal illustration in a medieval book of hours.
Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 88. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows… well I’m not quite sure! Is the bishop blessing this chap’s behind? Or is he mocking the bishop? No idea, but it’s an excellent example of the drollery, a comic marginal illustration in a medieval book of hours.

Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 88. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is the binding of a fourteenth century manuscript. The leather part is not original, but the middle panel (sadly made of ivory) is, just showing how fancy some medieval books were!
Image source: British Library MS Additional 35515. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is the binding of a fourteenth century manuscript. The leather part is not original, but the middle panel (sadly made of ivory) is, just showing how fancy some medieval books were!

Image source: British Library MS Additional 35515. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another cutting, this time from the border of a sixteenth century missal produced in either Florence or Rome. This depicts Peter, Isaiah, and another prophet.
Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another cutting, this time from the border of a sixteenth century missal produced in either Florence or Rome. This depicts Peter, Isaiah, and another prophet.

Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another lovely illustration in grisaille, shades of grey, but highlighted with blues and gilding. Really lovely!
Image source: SCA 40. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another lovely illustration in grisaille, shades of grey, but highlighted with blues and gilding. Really lovely!

Image source: SCA 40. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day depicts two rabbits… one eating, and the other looking slightly envious!
Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 88. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr. 

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day depicts two rabbits… one eating, and the other looking slightly envious!

Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 88. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another fragment from a fifteenth century Italian manuscript, the same we looked at last week. This cutting from the border mixes floral motifs with an image of Calvary.
Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another fragment from a fifteenth century Italian manuscript, the same we looked at last week. This cutting from the border mixes floral motifs with an image of Calvary.

Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is really rather lovely. I’ve no idea what it is, but I like it!
Image source: UBL LTK 231. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is really rather lovely. I’ve no idea what it is, but I like it!

Image source: UBL LTK 231. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a richly decorated leaf from the Book of Hours of the Ladies of Oudenaarde. The manuscript was produced in the low countries in the early fifteenth century.
Image source: Utopia, armarium codicum bibliophilorum, Cod. 104: Book of Hours of the Ladies of Oudenaarde. Creative Commons licensed via eCodices on Flickr. 

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a richly decorated leaf from the Book of Hours of the Ladies of OudenaardeThe manuscript was produced in the low countries in the early fifteenth century.

Image source: Utopia, armarium codicum bibliophilorum, Cod. 104: Book of Hours of the Ladies of Oudenaarde. Creative Commons licensed via eCodices on Flickr

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a leaf from a lovely fourteenth century book of hours in the collection of the Walters Museum. I love the neat scribal hand - so precise!
Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 37. Creative Commons licensed by the Walters Museum via Flickr.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a leaf from a lovely fourteenth century book of hours in the collection of the Walters Museum. I love the neat scribal hand - so precise!

Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 37. Creative Commons licensed by the Walters Museum via Flickr.

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erikkwakkel:

Garbage castleToday I spent the entire day going through medieval garbage. That is to say, I went though boxes filled with remains of medieval and early-modern books, which were stored in the archives of Maastricht, in the south of Holland. The snippets and sheets were thrown out centuries ago, but were subsequently fished out of the bin because a new purpose was found for them: recycling. Many ended up in the dark inside of bookbindings, where they supported boards and backs. Not the example above, however, which was used for a more artistic purpose, likely in the late 16th century: the large blank space was perfect for doodling a castle on - and two of its inhabitants. A draft, no doubt, a practice run before the real deal was undertaken. Someone liked it enough, however, to hang on to, although the sheet ultimately shared the fate of his peers - the bin. It may have been recycled again, ultimately ending up filed in a box, and then, today, in my hands. I just love this well-traveled garbage castle.Pic (my own): Maastricht, Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg, 18.A Nr. 208.

Great post! The accident of survival never ceases to amaze me. What we have, and what has been lost.

erikkwakkel:

Garbage castle

Today I spent the entire day going through medieval garbage. That is to say, I went though boxes filled with remains of medieval and early-modern books, which were stored in the archives of Maastricht, in the south of Holland. The snippets and sheets were thrown out centuries ago, but were subsequently fished out of the bin because a new purpose was found for them: recycling. Many ended up in the dark inside of bookbindings, where they supported boards and backs. Not the example above, however, which was used for a more artistic purpose, likely in the late 16th century: the large blank space was perfect for doodling a castle on - and two of its inhabitants. A draft, no doubt, a practice run before the real deal was undertaken. Someone liked it enough, however, to hang on to, although the sheet ultimately shared the fate of his peers - the bin. It may have been recycled again, ultimately ending up filed in a box, and then, today, in my hands. I just love this well-traveled garbage castle.

Pic (my own): Maastricht, Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg, 18.A Nr. 208.

Great post! The accident of survival never ceases to amaze me. What we have, and what has been lost.

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thegetty:

Ooh, some "Balancing" competition from Team France.
(Thanks Larsdatter)
From the British Library, from The Decretals of Gregory IX, 1300-1340, Page here.

thegetty:

Ooh, some "Balancing" competition from Team France.

(Thanks Larsdatter)

From the British Library, from The Decretals of Gregory IX, 1300-1340, Page here.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a very pretty little border from a fifteenth century manuscript produced in Italy. It is a cutting from a manuscript which no longer survives, bar these few fragments.
Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a very pretty little border from a fifteenth century manuscript produced in Italy. It is a cutting from a manuscript which no longer survives, bar these few fragments.

Image source: British Library MS Additional 60630. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is really rather beautiful. Simple but effective. Lovely!
Image source: UBL LTK 575. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is really rather beautiful. Simple but effective. Lovely!

Image source: UBL LTK 575. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.

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Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is so lovely I am sure I must have posted it before! It is a leaf from another book in the collection of the Walters Museum. I like how the marginal figures are hauling the text into place! The scribe has made an error, omitting some of the text… can you imagine the sinking feeling he must have had when he realised? Books like these take some writing - hours of work on expensive vellum. However he’s managed to salvage the leaf after all, making a joke of it and having some fun with his little line drawn friend who drags the words into their rightful place. Lovely!
Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 102. Image declared as public domain on Wikimedia Commons.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is so lovely I am sure I must have posted it before! It is a leaf from another book in the collection of the Walters Museum. I like how the marginal figures are hauling the text into place! The scribe has made an error, omitting some of the text… can you imagine the sinking feeling he must have had when he realised? Books like these take some writing - hours of work on expensive vellum. However he’s managed to salvage the leaf after all, making a joke of it and having some fun with his little line drawn friend who drags the words into their rightful place. Lovely!

Image source: Walters Museum MS W. 102. Image declared as public domain on Wikimedia Commons.

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