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Decorated Initial, In 'The Winchcombe Chronicle' f.46r

Decorated Initial, In 'The Winchcombe Chronicle' f.46r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1125

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Tiberius E IV

Item number: f.46r

Length: 40

Width: 29

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The most immediately striking feature of this manuscript is its condition: it is from a library, subsequently incorporated into the British Library, which was damaged by fire in 1731. In the library catalogue published in 1802 is it described as '... once valuable and elegant ... [now] so much damaged as to be useless'. Careful 19th-century restoration work, however, made the volume usable again. The textual contents show that it was written for St. Kenelm's Abbey, Winchcombe, north-east of Gloucester and Cheltenham. In addition to chronicles and annals, the manuscript contains treatises relating to time-keeping and the calculation of dates, notably by the Venerable Bede. This page contains the prologue to one of these treatises, introduced by a foliate initial (incorporating an animal head and a horned human head), in a style typical of Winchcombe.

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