Zoomorphic Initial, In Pseudo-Isidore's 'Papal Decrees' f.22v
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
In the middle of the 9th century, an author calling himself Isidore composed and published a series of forged papal decrees. His forgeries remained undiscovered for centuries, because he was clever enough to incorporate them into a collection of genuine decrees. This manuscript contains a copy of that partly-genuine and partly-forged collection; it was probably started in France (or by a French scribe working in England), but the text was finished and the decoration was added at Christ Church, Canterbury.
This initial 'A' is formed entirely of a white dog and three kinds of dragon.