This magnificent design treasury reproduces over 400 historic designs that embellish objects, manuscripts, monuments and buildings created in Britain from the 5th to the 14th centuries. Ranging from simple to sophisticated, the designs have been meticulously translated into highly decorative copyright-free line drawings by illustrator Eva Wilson.
Artists and craftspeople will find this book a fertile source of design inspiration from a decorative-arts tradition of dazzling virtuosity, reflecting the rich intermingling of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic, Viking and other early aesthetic influences. Drawn chiefly from artifacts in the collections of various British museums and libraries, the selection includes:
A gold buckle from the royal burial site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk,
Spiral scroll patterns from the Lindisfarne Gospels,
Decorated letters from 7th-century manuscripts,
Borders from the Book of Durrow,
Designs from stone sculpture of the Viking Age,
Embroidered designs from the Bayeux Tapestry,
Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis,
13th- and 14th-century patterned floor tiles,
... and much more.
This important, extensively researched sourcebook explores the historical background of the designs, and presents the patterns and motifs arranged thematically, demonstrating in detail how similar elements combine to produce a design as intricate as a decorated initial or as simple as a filled square or ornamental border. Here, then, is a comprehensive treasury of authentic, ready-to-use motifs that will lend medieval flair and flavor to almost any art or crafts project.