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

Only a handful of medieval artists’ 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.

Provenance

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


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