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Script Analysis - The new measurements

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18 December 2006

Script Analysis - The new measurements

Now, if I did stay with a nib width of 2mm, what I'd get is a more cramped, chunkier version of the Bedford Psalter script. And many of the letters would distort because so many of them are built with diamonds whose sides measure the width of the pen nib. There would be less 'vertical' line to be seen in a letter as they are covered by the relatively big diamonds.

I've already re-sized the page from Backhouse's Illuminated Manuscript, at exactly the size it says the pages are (with the illumination cropped from the edges so the resultant script in the middle would print on one page on the printer), and the nib width there is 1.5-ish mm. It varies a bit, depending on which line you measure, but I've heard that you go with the O's. They vary too, of course. Oh! This handwritten stuff!

Now I'm working with a page of the script that has been re-sized both to fit the page size specifications, and has nib widths of what I'd expect, I can simply make measurements directly from the page. Instead of what I did before, which was measure the nib width shown on the size (whatever it was) of each page, and then adjust my measurements by a factor of 2 or whatever.

It's just too dangerous to do it that way - the measurements are so small, there is so much variation. I really need to re-size the images using the page measurements stated in the originating books, not use the nib size shown on the page and then adjusting measurements according to what I've measured that nib size to be. The error magnifies too much. I should have noticed there was a problem with the pen nib width before now, but I hadn't.

So, anyway, I've checked all those letters that start or finish at funny heights - d (all three versions),g, t, h (!), y (!), the funny machinations of the z, and worked out the ascender/descender heights for the more normal ascending/descending letters (b,f, l, long s etc). And calculated a new set of guideline measurements to match the page format.

I say "worked out the a/d height' and 'calculate the guidelines' because the x-height, ascender and descender heights varied as I measured down any one of the pages, including the Illuminated Manuscript page that I'm currently using - so it's a matter of finding the average of each whilst aiming to fit the standard 18 lines on each page onto the given page length.

I've decided not to go thought the other images (like I did in the 2 Script Analysis - Float, Ascender and Descender Height entries) - from Codices Illustres and the 2 from the British Library where I went through and noted all the variances (like on one page, the cross bar of the t is 1 mm below the waistline and on another the crossbar is 0.5 mm below the waistline). I've commented before that it looks like there were different scribes writing the different pages because of these sorts of small but consistent differences (and there are a lot of them). I like the version of the script on the Illuminated Manuscript page the best so I'm just going with that one.

I just need to type all this up with the actual measurements and rule up a new guidesheet.

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Blogger Scribe with Gold said...

Just popped into to say hi. You've been busy and I hope to get caught up on all my reading.

Thursday, December 21, 2006  

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