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Sts. John The Baptist, John The Evangelist, Comas, And Damian, Around A Volvelle, In The Guildbook Of The Barber Surgeons Of York

Sts. John The Baptist, John The Evangelist, Comas, And Damian, Around A Volvelle, In The Guildbook Of The Barber Surgeons Of York

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1486

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2572

Item number: f.51v

Length: 27.2

Width: 18.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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In the Middle Ages naval and military barbers were not only responsible for cutting hair (to remove lice), but also for surgery such as tooth-extraction, and amputations. In England it was not until 1745 that a surgeons' guild was created, separate from the barbers' guild. This manuscript was written for the guild of Barber Surgeons of York. The moving central part of the volvelle, with the pointer, is inscribed in red with numbers from 1-30; in the concentric circles around this are drawings of the signs of the zodiac, their names, and the names of the months and emblems for the occupations of the months.

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