A finely decorated page from a Medieval bible highlighted with opulent liquid gold, blue and red pigments. The leaf features two columns of 44 lines of text, written in a popular Medieval and Renaissance gothic book-hand script, known as ‘letter bâtarde’. This particular leaf has one capitalised and enlarged initial, a large ‘M’. Further intra-column decoration has been added in the form of a long scroll with geometric details, coloured with red and blue tempera and liquid gold. Unusually, a small rabbit has been added to the end of the scroll.
Date: Circa 13th century AD Condition: Extremely Fine.
Rabbits had several meanings when depicted in medieval art. They are represented in various ways, from sweet and innocent representations to axe-wielding violent fighters. Unsurprisingly, cute examples represent purity and innocence. Controversially, rabbits can also represent a more sinful nature of debauchery and unbridled lust. Within the Old testament rabbits were viewed as unclean and this perception continued with Medieval artists. The unclean rabbit a metaphor for the unclean soul. A rare example of a leaf produced in Britain from the 13th century.
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