Reference numberMS/68
TitleSpecimens of calligraphy and natural history illustration
Date17th century
DescriptionA calligraphic sample book, presumably compiled to demonstrate the skills of the unknown artist. Containing samples of writing and drawing styles, including some fine natural history drawings of freshwater animals.

f.1: fanciful decorative border including vignettes of indians with feather headresses, birds, snails, rams' heads, sphinxes, architectural columns, candles and paintings.
f.2: illustrations of four types of freshwater fishes: barbel (top); pike (bottom); bream (left) and gudgeon (right). With outer and inner borders of very small and patterned calligraphy.
f.3: specimen of calligraphy: Proverbs 16: 7-9 commencing "Wenn dem Herrn..." and ending "...aber der Herr allein gibt dass es fortgehe". Highly decorated 'W', using flowers, leaves and fruits.
f.4: seven lines of text with letters staggered at the line centre. Accompanied by a freely drawn bird [a swan on water?] and an illustration of a crayfish or lobster.
f.5r: three columns of written text, various styles and forms of address, commencing "Dantiscanae urbis origo"
f.5v: three columns of written text, various styles and forms of address, commencing "Qua' tibi depictum..."

The presentation is noted in a meeting of the Royal Society of 26 February 1700/1: "Mr Owen was permitted to be present. He presented a fine piece of writing in a book done on Vellum at Dantzick [Gdansk, Poland]. He was thanked for it". [JBO/10 p.212].
Extent1 volume of 5 f., MS Large
Physical descriptionFull vellum binding with gilt decoration
Access statusOpen
URL descriptionDigital version available on The Royal Society Turning the Pages
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