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Historiated Initial With God Appearing To Solomon, In A Bible With A Calendar

Historiated Initial With God Appearing To Solomon, In A Bible With A Calendar

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2867

Item number: f.290v

Length: 20.7

Width: 12.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In size this manuscript is not untypical of Bibles that were produced in their hundreds in the 13th century; but it has several very unusual features. For example, the main text of almost all medieval Bibles was written with two columns per page, not one, as we find here. Secondly, this manuscript has a liturgical calendar and a long series of sermon notes between the Old and New Testaments. The calendar has previously been taken to indicate a Dover origin, but Christ Church, Canterbury (of which Dover priory was a cell), is more likely. It was certainly owned by Roger Bennett, a monk of Christ Church in the 15th century. These initials are typical of those in this manuscript: prologues to biblical books are introduced by painted foliate initials, while the books themselves are illuminated and historiated. This is the start of the book of Ecclesiastes.

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