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Historiated Initial With The Evangelist Symbol Of Matthew, In A Bible With A Calendar

Historiated Initial With The Evangelist Symbol Of Matthew, In A Bible With A Calendar

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2867

Item number: f.430r

Length: 20.8

Width: 13.6

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. The start of the New Testament has a decorated initial 'M' for the prologue, and a historiated initial 'L' for the text of Matthew with a winged man, his evangelist symbol.

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