The Macclesfield Alphabet Book: a Facsimile, ed. Christopher de Hamel and Patricia Lovett
After reading Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, I wondered what else de Hamel might have produced, and I found this neat book! With the magic of InterLibrary Loan, it was soon in my hands.
This is a facsimile of an unusual manuscript. It's not very long, and it dates from the late 1400s. It's a sort of design or idea book for the fancy initials in illuminated manuscripts! It contains fourteen different kinds of decorative letters: a sort of blackletter type, several with leaves, and some very whimsical alphabets made of human and animal figures. Most aren't colored in or anything; they're diagrams.
It's a lot of fun to look at and full of great design ideas. I'm very tempted to use some of them in embroidery, and maybe someday I will (I've got plenty to do right now). If you're interested in lettering, this is a great resource!