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Illuminated Manuscripts.

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718405.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:19 am Reply with quote

Given that painstakingly engraving and scraping away at those fantastically detailed vellum sheets must have been a frustrating and deathly boring job, it's not surprising that some monks got a bit fed up in their work-
Anonymous monks have left us a record of what this job felt like. In later medieval manuscripts, they doodled into the margins of their texts, leaving us tantalizing human insights into what went into the preservation of western culture before the age of printing. 'The art of writing is difficult,' one moans 'It tires the eyes, wearies the back and send cramps through the arms and legs.' Another simply says, 'My God, it's cold.' While a third celebrates the end of a day in the scriptorium with 'I have finished my work, now give me a bottle of wine!'

-The Worst Jobs in History.

718416.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:31 am Reply with quote

I have one done for my great-grandfather's wedding -- about 16 A4 sheets (paper, rather than vellum) bound in leather. It is the loveliest thing.

If QI want to display it in a programme, my fee is a mere couple of tickets for a recording!

718433.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:54 am Reply with quote

OK, so now we know the "abb" bit is "Abbott" ... but "tets"? Damned if I know.

718495.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:26 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
OK, so now we know the "abb" bit is "Abbott" ... but "tets"? Damned if I know.

Way off the mark, Flash!
How did you get to 'Abbott' from that bit of illumianted person-uscript?

As for my name, shorten it to tetsab, turn it round, and think Ancient Egyptian cat goddesses......

718513.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:53 pm Reply with quote


"Toujours Pret" is an Abbott family motto, and 2+2=5.

Sadurian Mike
718552.  Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:47 pm Reply with quote

I very nearly responded just as testabb did (knowing how his name originated), but I thought you'd gone along the lines of abbotts being in charge of monks who were traditionally the chaps to have illuminated manuscripts made.

718825.  Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:16 am Reply with quote

I think 'toujours pret' is also a battery in France, but I am not from a French family.

dr bartolo
777404.  Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:16 am Reply with quote

speaking of ilumunation, mediŠval scribes would do the most disgusting things to get the gold leaf sticking to the page- amongst the things they used( called sizes or modarants) was garlic juice....
yet another was glair- the whites of eggs beaten to a froth, and the froth mixed with water. not disgusting in itself, but the scribes had a habit of letting it stand for a few days... somthing that was also did to the garlic juice. the proces apparently rendered the stuff more sticky.

Ion Zone
780316.  Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:56 pm Reply with quote

Nowadays you can literally illuminate paper using wafer screens. And, in theory, change roadmarkings via computer.

dr bartolo
783027.  Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:15 am Reply with quote

but that's cheating!

807457.  Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:36 pm Reply with quote

I personally have dabbled in calligraphy, but I wonder why it has died out as an art form?

807630.  Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:36 am Reply with quote

Calligraphy died out in my case when I eventually realised I just can't do it...

If anybody wants a book on left-handed calligraphy, let me know.

807647.  Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:56 am Reply with quote

I'd be very interested, RLDavies. I'm trying to learn to write with my left-hand, as something to do. Next I'll be learning to type on a Dvorak keyboard.

807777.  Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:18 pm Reply with quote

Odd choice of hobbies you have there, but who am I to argue? I'm currently in the middle of making notes on the 72 angels who are supposed to hold the name of God. (No, I didn't know there were any, either. Much less 72 of them.)

The book is actually for "native" left-handers. Learning to calligraph left-handed is a real pain -- basically you have to treat it as a whole new skill, unrelated to normal writing. You have to hold the page rotated almost 90 degrees and write downwards, because calligraphy ink dries too slowly for lefties to write at a normal angle. You'd drag your hand across the letters.

807946.  Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:35 pm Reply with quote

RLDavies wrote:
Calligraphy died out in my case when I eventually realised I just can't do it...
If anybody wants a book on left-handed calligraphy, let me know.

Well, it's the same as right-handed, but... it's a darn-sight harder, as you have to wait for everything to dry... except...

I found that modern hi-lighter pens are designed just right, so you can hold them naturally in your left hand and write without smudging. They don't care too much about being pushed against the grain either...

But I had to learn to write with my right hand to learn calligraphy with ink nibs - but that's ok because you don't have to write very fast. It's more a matter of control.


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