The Macclesfield Alphabet Book: Bl Additional MS 88887: A Facsimile introduced by Christopher de Hamel and Patricial Lovett
The Macclesfield Alphabet Book: Bl Additional MS 88887: A Facsimile introduced by Christopher de Hamel and Patricial Lovett, published in 2010. Hardcover with original jacket with only the lightest shelfwear. The Macclesfield Alphabet Book is an exquisitely beautiful 15th-century manuscript, made in England. It contains 14 different types of decorative alphabets. These include an alphabet of decorative initials with faces; foliate alphabets; a zoomorphic alphabet of initials, and alphabets in Gothic script. In addition there are large coloured anthropomorphic initials modelled after 15th-century woodcuts or engravings, as well as two sets of different types of borders, some of which are fully illuminated in colours and gold.Initially it was thought to be a `model book’, used by artists for the transmission of ideas to assistants, or as a sample book to show potential customers. But, as Christopher de Hamel and Patricia Lovett show in their introductory essays, this assumption must be questioned: the Macclesfield Alphabet Book is an enigmatic album, possibly a friar’s personal commonplace book. The manuscript was acquired by the British Library in 2009. It had been in the library of the Earl of Macclesfield since about 1750, and until recently its existence was completely unknown. Hardcover with a few margin tears at the corners and ends of jacket.