Hand: sigma, Exeter 3500

Exeter 3500

EXON Project

This scribe may be recognised by his idiosyncratic –orum abbreviation; wide open descender of g with either flat end or tuning down; frequent enlarged minuscule with curling tongue for E; pointed uncial M; last in sequence of minims is extended below the baseline and turns left.

1. Letterforms

a.- Uncial form with back sometimes reaching over and leaning over the bowl.

d.-. Both straight-backed and round forms in use. The former shows an ascender with a wedge at the top and is about double minim height. Round d has a straight ascender rising at 45º. Occasionally it may turn up at the end.

e.- Broken back and lower component nearly (or actually) touching the projecting tongue, esp. at word end.

g.- Wide open tail nearly flat at the bottom which starts horizontally under the head (only just touching it). Not unlikely to find it finishing in a flick down.

h.- Left leg stands on the baseline whereas the right one may tuck in very slightly with the finishing stroke. The latter normally reaches below the baseline.

p.- Round head, approach stroke and straight descender with no finishing stroke.

s.- Reaches slightly below the baseline and is occasionally footed with a finishing stroke. It has a hood on the left and ascender may at times be pointed.

t.- Curved shaft does not cut across the horizontal bar, which occasionally curls up at the end (esp. at word end).

x.- Left leg is extended beyond the baseline and reaches underneath the previous letterform. It is also finished on an endstroke.


2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders

Minims.- About 2mm high in 13r-14r and 14r-16r, but just over 1mm in 7v, 8r and 9rv. They show small approach stroke and a finishing flick that forms a form of foot.

Ascenders.- Between 2 and 3mm high. They are either simple (esp. d & b) or have a wedge to the left (esp. h & l).

Descenders.- Either simple straight descenders or turning slightly to the left (esp. p).

3. Form of capitals

A. Tall A with slight hook on ascender.

E. Both rustic and enlarged minuscule forms in use. The latter seems to be favoured.

M. First half is closed while final stroke reaches below the baseline on a hairline. Both components are pointed at the top.

N. Both vertical strokes show wedges on the left. Left leg is footed with a horizontal finishing stroke. Right leg reaches below the baseline and turns left. Nigellus 13r27.

O. Pointed form in which right stroke is rather similar to the ascender of round d. Odo 7v10.

W. Two superimposed Vs with hairline approach stroke from the right at the top of the left arm, and approach stroke from the left on the right arm.

4. Forms of punctuation

Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use.

5. Form of gallows mark

Y-shape turning left at bottom with cross-stroke beginning at the top of the left arm and sloping up. The two arms of the Y are very close to each other.

6. Forms of abbreviation

Ampersand.- Rather uncommon in comparison with et nota. It may be quite a wide form with a rather large first component and a diagonal stroke that is straight, reaches below the baseline and has a finishing stroke upwards. The second component has a very small eye (if at all) and the final stroke shows a downward endstroke. 8r30.

et nota.- 7-shaped with shallow indentation to the top. Finishing stroke at the bottom of the descender.

Overline.- 7-shaped, angled at 45º. Shallow cup-shaped.


-us.- Open 9-shape touching on the right hand side of the letter.

-orum.- Most relevant idiosyncrasy of this scribe: final stroke of 2-shaped r is diagonally crossed by a thin stroke, itself joined to the to the end of the tail of r by a curved stroke.

q- forms.-

e cauda.- Open fish-bone type.

pr- forms.-.

other forms.-.


7. Forms of suspension

8. Ligatures


-ct- ligature:.

-rt- ligature:

-st- ligature: Ligature is higher than ascender of s, though lower than l.


9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)

Insertion mark is normally a long stroke leaning to the left (30r19 x2). A variety of ‘signes de renvoi’ used on 7v.

10. Method of correction and correction mark

Dots underneath letters to be erased (de his 15v15).

Text considered unnecessary crossed out (but not ampersand) (7v7)

11. Treatment of numerals

Between dots. Last in sequence of minims is extended below the baseline and turns left.

12. Proportions and measurements


- Pricking.-

- Ruling.-

13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)

What does he write?

Geld Accounts (Wi) – 7v1-31; 8r12-30; 9r7v10; 13r1-14r20 [opens quire]; 14r28-16r26 [ends quire]

Other relevant information

Identified by Ker as the ‘Salisbury’ scribe: ‘the hand of a professional (?) scribe employed in making the early collection of books at Salisbury Cathedral.’ (Ker, 1977: p. 804).

a, Caroline

a, Caroline. sigma

a, Caroline. sigma

a, Caroline. sigma

b. sigma
d, Angled-back

d, Insular. sigma

d, Insular. sigma

d, Insular. sigma
d, Caroline

d, Caroline. sigma

d, Caroline. sigma

e. sigma

e. sigma
g, Caroline

g, Caroline. sigma

g, Caroline. sigma

g, Caroline. sigma

g, Caroline. sigma

g, Caroline. sigma
h, Caroline

h, Caroline. sigma

i. sigma

l. sigma
r, Caroline

r, Caroline. sigma
s, Caroline

s, Caroline. sigma

s, Caroline. sigma

s, Caroline. sigma

s, Caroline. sigma

x. sigma

7. sigma

7. sigma

&. sigma

&. sigma
Gallows Mark

Gallow Mark. sigma

Gallow Mark. sigma

Gallow Mark. sigma
overline, abbrev. stroke

abbrev. stroke. sigma

ligature. sigma