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Two East Anglian Picture Books. A facsimile of the Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary and Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504.
Full-size colour facsimiles of two extraordinary, and almost identical, medieval picture books containing a total of 98 pictures of flowers and trees and 58 of birds and animals together with a variety of other material (ornamental alphabets, drawings of coats of arms, household gear, embroidery patterns, landscapes and grotesques) representing the full range of medieval ornament.
Nicolas Barker’s wide-ranging introductory text examines the precise relationship between the two manuscripts, their purpose and provenance, the extent of the naturalism of their images, and connections with the other arts. The text is amplified with 61 black and white plates, and with a map and diagrams.
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with neumes, containing music for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday; a complete leaf written in dark brown ink in a good early gothic bookhand, 14 lines, ruled in ink, neumes on four-line staves ruled in dark brown ink (red marking the C-clef), capitals touched in red, small initials in red, rubrics, two large initials ‘V’ ('Vespere autem sabbati') and ‘A’ ('Angelus domini descendit') in red with elaborately entwined leafy tendrils; rather soiled and slightly rubbed from use in a binding, the recto very worn, but the verso mostly clear and legible. 290 x 200 mm (written space 260 x 170 mm)
From a well-written Antiphonal with elaborate penwork initials.
The History of a tame Robin. Supposed to be written by Himself.
First and only edition. The tame Robin recalls a life of adventure enriched by human and avian friendships. A childhood spent in a school-room helped him attain ‘a sufficient knowledge of literature to relate my adventures’. His life, though happy, is not without its vicissitudes: he loses a close friend, Goldey the goldfinch, to a bird of prey and spends a disconcerting time in the ownership of a spoilt child who starves sparrows to death.