The British Library has the most extensive collection of English medieval and late medieval manuscript holdings.

Only a handful of medieval artistsÂ’ model books like this one survive. Macclesfield Alphabet Book is of outstanding significance for re-assessing the role of individual and workshop production of luxury books in late-medieval Britain. It is filled with fourteen different types of alphabets, ranging from simple letters in Gothic script to large coloured anthropomorphic initials modelled after fifteenth-century woodcuts or engravings. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


By descent through the Earls of Macclesfield since circa 1750 as part of the Shirburn Library.

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