Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript. Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script.
The large-scale missal was intended to be viewed at a distance by a choir who shared it amongst themselves. It was much easier to write out one large book for multiple use than it was to write out a requisite number of individual copies. The delicate tracery in the initials shows how beautifully vellum functioned as a substrate for bookmaking. Its hard surface and residual fat content made it a perfect substrate for the water-based inks of the medieval scribes. The hair follicles of the calf from which this vellum was obtained still show clearly in this manuscript and were not at all considered a distraction or a flaw.