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Manuscript | by Muffet
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This is a hand-written manuscript produced on some type of fine polished animal skin. I own two of them, which I bought very inexpensively years ago. One has a defect at the edge of the page, and this one has some sort of random mark on oneside. I used to do a lot of calligraphy, some with handmade reed pens, so I could appreciate how these scribes worked. Years ago, pages like this were plentiful and not really seen as any type of art form.


Edward Johnston, a calligrapher who was largely responsible for the rebirth of the art during the last century, wrote a lot about the old scribes. He said that "the thing that would have struck us most--even more than the skill, would have been the speed with which he wrote...they didn't seek beauty directly....everything they did was primarily for use and even those gorgeous letters they put in their illuminated manuscripts were primarily for use as book markers. " He went on to point out that despite the utilitarian goal, scribes had a "dream of divine beauty that they were seeking," and thus were able to manifest it in their work.

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Taken on November 25, 2006