Manuscript book on parchment Northern France, second half of the 15th century
Plimpton MS 287
A cross, an alphabet, “Pater noster qui es in celis,” “Ave maria gracia plena.” Here are the basics for learning to read, and the basics for learning to pray for a well-to-do child in 15th-century France. This booklet is an expensive one: parchment stained purple, albeit now faded to brown; writing in silver ink, albeit now oxidized, with ruling in gold. In lines 8–9, small gold dots expunge — they “ex-punctus,” or remove with points — the mistaken duplicate copying of the words “adveniat regnum” (kingdom come). The booklet was a gift in 1860 from John Ruskin to an adored 12-year-old, Rose La Touche.
Gift of George Arthur Plimpton