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Historiated initial from a choirbook

Manuscript Cutting
ca. 1350 (made)
Place of origin

Cut-out historiated initial B with St Michael killing the dragon.

Object details

Object type
TitleHistoriated initial from a choirbook
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Cut-out historiated initial B from a Choirbook (St Michael killing the dragon); Netherlands; ca 1350. A duplicate number MS.40 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.
Physical description
Cut-out historiated initial B with St Michael killing the dragon.
  • Height: 105mm
  • Width: 102mm
Production typeUnique
Gallery label
Fragmented Illuminations: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Cuttings at the V&A, 08/09/2021 - 26/06/2022, rooms 88A-90

Sir John Charles Robinson (1824–1913)
As the first curator of the Museum of Ornamental Art (which later became the V&A), J.C. Robinson indulged his passion for Renaissance art and collecting. In the 1850s, he undertook yearly ‘shopping’ expeditions to Europe. Robinson bought these initials in Bonn, Germany in 1858. The cut-out border ornaments, however, were purchased from London booksellers Thomas and William Boone in 1866. Many cuttings were circulated to art schools as part of an educational scheme headed by the museum.

Initials ‘B’, ‘D’, ‘N’, ‘O’, ‘S’ and ‘T’ showing saints and scenes from the life of Christ, from a choirbook Netherlands, about 1350 Ink and watercolour on parchment
Museum nos. 4013, 4014, 4017, 4018, 4020, 4021
Object history
Purchased from Kruchen in Bonn in 1858, together with 11 other initials from the same manuscript (now Museum nos 4011-4022). Recorded in the Register of Drawings as 'Italian, 14th century'.

Cuttings from the same manuscript in the V&A collection: Museum nos 4011, 4012, 4013, 4014, 4015, 4016, 4017, 4018, 4019, 4020, 4021, 4022.
Associated objects
Bibliographic reference
Catalogue of Miniatures, Leaves, and Cuttings from Illuminated Manuscripts. Victoria and Albert Museum. Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, by S.C. Cockerell and C. Harcourt Smith (London: HMSO, 1923, 2nd edition). p. 13 (as Netherlandish, 14th century).
Accession number

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Record createdJune 30, 2009
Record URL
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