Item No: mcai290151
Additional Title: Choir book
Rare Book Department
Ornament in medieval and Renaissance manuscripts can be quite fanciful. The lower curve of the initial is formed by the torso of a female figure suggestive of a winged mermaid. As with the other initials from this manuscript (Lewis E 29:13 and 14), this motif has its origins in the Classical world. Such displays of imagination usually carried very little symbolism; rather, their purpose seems to have been to enliven the otherwise flat surface of the page.
These cuttings can be dated to the 15th or 16th centuries.
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Lewis E M 29:13-15