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Dover Press is to be commended for re-printing, in modern & useable editions, so many of these wonderful old books for artists & designers. Otherwise they would be lost.
Medieval Alphabets & Decorative Devices is a 1999 Dover compliation of of illustrations from 2 books by Henry Shaw. The first is Alphabets, Numerals and Devices of the Middle Ages published in London, 1845. The other is The Hand Book of Mediaeval Alphabets and Devices also published in London, 1853.
To quote from the back cover
"The art of applying color to documents is an ancient one, practiced by the Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Romans and other cultures. But it was the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, perhaps more than any other documents, that preserved this exceptionally rich art form.
This handsome collection of designs, drawn chiefly from Illuminated European manuscripts of the 8th to the 16th century, as well as from rare woodcuts and monumental brasses, offers today's graphic artists, calligraphers and students of design a rich selection of 30 authentic medieval alphabets and more then 150 decorative letters and ornamental devices."
They forgot to mention designers in the list of people who will find this book both useful and fascinating. All monograms & devices included here are permission-free.
In looking through this book, I am awed. These are letters & designs (devices) that I have rarely seen before, if ever. The beauty and symbolism here is really something. Unique and distinctive about sums it up.
Medieval Alphabets and Decorative Devices is a glossy cover paperbound book. This Dover publication was published in 1999. It has 46 pages.