One of the most wonderful sights in this world is the shimmer of gold leaf on a manuscript page as it comes into the light. It is of course most well-known from medieval manuscripts, but has never quite stopped being used altogether. Consider Phoebe Traquair’s illuminated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. A full page, or a full miniature, with a background of gold leaf, never fails to catch my breath, just for a moment. Thus I have chosen as today’s image of light just such a miniature from the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen University Library MS 24). This manuscript was produced in the 12th century, and has a most interesting history. It has been fully digitised and is available online here, complete with translations and transcriptions. The birds are beautifully realised and stand out wonderfully against the shimmering gold. I chose the turtle dove image because two of these birds were sent, along with a partridge in a pear tree, to the singer of “The Twelve Days of Christmas, on the second day.
Posts Tagged ‘Rare Books’
Posted in Blogging projects, Librarianship, Medieval studies, tagged Christmas, Gold leaf, Light, Phoebe Traquair, Rare Books, Sonnets from the Portuguese, Special Collections, The Aberdeen Bestiary, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Turtle doves on December 15, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Arts and Culture, Librarianship, Medieval studies, tagged Insular art, Insular manuscripts, Mid-week Museum, Monymusk Reliquary, National Museum of Scotland, Rare Books, Scottish Independence Referendum, Special Collections, Women for Independence on August 7, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Having not long returned from an all-women discussion on the Scottish Independence Referendum, organised by Women for Independence, and thus being very inspired and much better-informed, how could tonight’s Mid-week Museum post not be about a Scottish work of art?The Monymusk Reliquary dates from the 8th century, and gets its name from Monymusk House, where it was kept for an unknown number of years before being acquired by the National Museum of Scotland in 1933. (more…)
Posted in Academia and Research, Languages, Librarianship, Medieval studies, Travel, Victorian Studies, tagged Canada, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, François Villon, Pre-Raphaelites, Rare Books, Special Collections, Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, Toronto University, Translation, Victorian Vendredis, William Morris on August 1, 2014| 4 Comments »
Posted in Arts and Culture, Librarianship, Medieval studies, tagged British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014, Medieval Mondays, Rare Books on July 28, 2014| Leave a Comment »
It’s been great to get home in time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, one of the biggest events to hit my homeland, and it’s going so well – I’m thrilled. My tastes lie more to the cultural side of things than the sporting, but I defy you all not to find Erraid Davies inspirational and utterly adorable. However, today’s post is not about the current Commonwealth Games competition. Following extensive top-secret research, I have discovered that these games are not the first to have taken place in Glasgow. Follow me back into 1314……….. (more…)
Posted in Academia and Research, Arts and Culture, Food and Drink, Librarianship, Medieval studies, Technology, Victorian Studies, tagged CAIS, CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group, Digitisation, Dundee University, French Emblems at Glasgow, Historic Libraries Forum, Library and Information History Group, London Rare Books School, Rare Books, Rare Books in Scotland, Special Collections, Understanding and Managing Rare Books on June 7, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Blogging projects, Librarianship, Medieval studies, tagged animal skins, bookbindings, Insular book art, Islamic bookbindings, Medieval Mondays, Rare Books, RUSI Library, Special Collections, Strapwork on August 5, 2013| Leave a Comment »
I will write more fully about the really excellent – and entertaining – training given by Carlo Dumontet (RUSI Associate Library Fellow) and organised by Tony Pilmer (Librarian), at a later date, but today’s Medieval Monday post focuses on a small but interesting (I hope) observation of mine.
This bookbinding, an example of thirteenth century Islamic craftsmanship, was not one of the examples that we used this afternoon, but others very like it seemed immediately familiar, in spite of my knowing that I had neither curated nor researched such items. Then it came to me. Just something else to ponder of a morning.
Posted in Arts and Culture, Medieval studies, tagged Eagles, Glasgow University Library Special Collections, Isidore of Seville, Medieval Mondays, Phoenixes, Rare Books, Special Collections, Summer, Sun, The Aberdeen Bestiary on July 22, 2013| Leave a Comment »