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Decorated Initial, In A Miscellany From Ely f.43r

Decorated Initial, In A Miscellany From Ely f.43r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Additional MS 33381

Item number: f.43r

Length: 21.2-00-00 00:00:00

Width: 13

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The exact origin and purpose of this manuscript is uncertain. It was begun in the 13th century, and added to in the 14th and 15th centuries. Most of its contents relate in some way to Ely Priory--many of them relating to a variety of private and public devotions--so it was presumably handed down from one Priory official to another. It appears to be a prayerbook, assembled for personal devotion. This initial introduces a collection of prayers known as the Prayers and Meditations of St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109). The decoration of the initial clearly differs in style from, for example, the initial with a picture of the Resurrection (f. 14r), on a page of a section which was written and decorated at a much later date. It was, however, written to be placed in this position, as shown by a catchword (on the last page at the end of a section of folded parchment pages, the first word of the next section written in the lower margin). This suggests the sections of prayers were deliberately ordered in the manuscript instead of new sections just being added at the end of the book.

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