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Three Diagrams Illustrating Chess-Boards, In A Collection Of Treatises On Chess

Three Diagrams Illustrating Chess-Boards, In A Collection Of Treatises On Chess

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1275

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Cleopatra B IX

Item number: f.10r

Length: 20

Width: 11.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Although the main contents of this manuscript are treatises on chess, a secular subject that might seem out of place in a Benedictine Abbey, an integral part of the volume is a liturgical calendar which was clearly meant for use at Abbotsbury Abbey, Dorset. The large diagram at the top of this page shows a grid like a chess board, of 84 squares, with, from top left, numbers in roman numerals, each one double the previous one: 1, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, and so on. Below are two chess-boards set with chess-pieces.

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