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Decorated Initial, In Baldwin of Canterbury's 'The Sacraments' f.48v

Decorated Initial, In Baldwin of Canterbury's 'The Sacraments' f.48v

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1225

Shelfmark: Stowe MS 35

Item number: f.48v

Length: 22.7

Width: 15.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Baldwin (d. 1190) was born in Exeter, and had a rapid rise through the Church hierarchy: he became a priest and archdeacon in Exeter, a Cistercian monk and very soon after, abbot, at Forde Abbey (between Chard and Bridport, in Dorset); bishop of Worcester, and finally archbishop of Canterbury. He went on Crusade and died in the Holy Land. This copy of his treatise on the sacraments was owned soon after it was made by the Abbey of Holy Cross, Waltham, a short distance due north of London. This decorated initial marks the start of a section concerning 'the words of the apostle', which begins with a quotation from Matthew 15:20. Several features of the making of the book are visible, including the guide-letter 'N' and the prickings in the left margin, and traces of a quire-signature and catchword at the extreme lower edge of the page.

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