A blue azurite crystal (taken using x50 magnification)
A preliminary result shows that the palette is comprised of vermilion,
lead tin yellow (type 1), carbon black, azurite, malachite, verdigris,
chalk, gypsum and lead white. This seems to be in agreement with
pigments indicated in contemporary descriptions of methods of illumination.
One pigment could not be identified, specifically the organic dark
red/purple colour used for the foliage. The palette of the King's
copy of the Gutenberg Bible has been compared with those observed
in the copies held at Lambeth Palace, Eton College, Bibliothèque
Mazarine, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Universitäts- und Staatsbibliothek
in Göttingen, and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
There are great similarities in the use of pigments. Though the
style of the illuminations observed in the Lambeth Palace copy is
very luxurious and uses more gold, the range of other colours is
more restricted than the copies decorated in Germany.
We are extremely grateful to the libraries that have cooperated
on this project.