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Decorated Initial And Display Capitals, In Osbern's 'Life of St. Dunstan'

Decorated Initial And Display Capitals, In Osbern's 'Life of St. Dunstan'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1100

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 16

Item number: f.30v

Length: 24.9

Width: 15.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Osbern (d. c.1090) was born at Canterbury in the mid 11th century, and brought up there, going on to become a monk and then prior of the cathedral priory. He wrote treatises on music, but is perhaps better known for his translations, from Anglo-Saxon into Latin, of biographies of saints. St. Dunstan (d.988) was an archbishop of Canterbury and 'one of the greatest saints of the Anglo-Saxon Church'. This manuscript is written at Christ Church, Canterbury, in their handwriting, but was in the library at Dover Priory by the 14th century. This initial 'D' marks the start of Book II of the work. The first two lines are written in green and red capitals, with a variety of ornamental letter-forms, some of them nesting within others (such as the 'I' between the 'L' and 'B' at the beginning of the second line.

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