This manuscript was made for my Masters Degree studies, 2002-2004, at the Princes School of Traditional Arts. It has been on loan to St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire,Wales.
It is on calfskin manuscript vellum, and is painted in iron gall ink and handmade egg tempera paint. The pigments used are genuine verdigris, minium, orpiment, indigo, lamp black, rose madder and ochre. The pages measure 360mm x 270mm. The manuscript is hand bound in goatskin leather, dyed "English Red", over quarter sawn oak boards. There is a raised and embossed design on the front of the binding, with four raised bands on the spine. The rear of the binding is plain.
There are six illuminated pages and 19 pages of text, in two columns per page with 32 lines of text per column. There are two blank vellum leaves at the front of the manuscript and three at the back. Two of the illuminations are carpet pages in the style of early, insular manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Lichfield Gospels. The other four illuminated pages are a portrait page of St Thomas, a title page (featuring a gilded cross), a page featuring a design based upon a simple shield and an incipit page. The incipit page has a large illuminated initial 'W', followed by six lines of display capitals. The text is bordered on three sides with borders containing tiny birds. The display capitals are surrounded by a rubricated design comprising hundreds of tiny dots of genuine minium.
The text is in half uncial, in iron gall ink. There are 92 decorated capital "J"'s in the manuscript in addition to many other, more simple, painted letters. The pages are all pricked and double blind ruled.
The designs are all my own, worked up from first principles, and have a geometric subframe, based upon sacred geometry. I have all of my studies, drawings, plans and preparatory work for this manuscript. As no previous exemplar existed, I had to meticulously plan out where each letter and space would go and made several mock ups before embarking upon the vellum. The manuscript took me about 15 months in all to make.
It comes with a very simple oak box, with hinged lid. The hinges were made by a blacksmith we know (Phil Rayner of Somerset) and the oak lid and sides are covered with worked copper, with a central glass cabochon. The box measures 435mm x 330mm x 75mm.
This manuscript, believed to be the first illuminated manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas made, is now offered for sale
If you are interested, please contact me to discuss further (01554 229707/ 07854 306569).