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Details: Letter A
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Details: Letter A
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Details: Letter b
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Details: Letter F

Decorated letters

Object number: ROMGH.1999.271

Type: Drawing

Material: Paper, Pen and ink, Pencil

Width: 39cm | Height: 37.6cm

Production date: 1920 - 1947

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

A fascinating aspect of early medieval gospel books is the intricate design of some of the capital letters. The Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels have numerous examples.

In this drawing George Bain has chosen two A’s and a B for study. He has created his own decorated F, based on elements from various capital letters in the Book of Kells. What really enhances the designs are the elaborate zoomorphic animals and intricate knotwork.

Two of the letters have the added instruction ‘Reverse for transfer’. Bain is highlighting their potential use as embroidery patterns.

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction pages 94-95, Pates 11-13

Author: Diana Cobden

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