November 18, 2010
The astonishing secrets of a lavishly illustrated 800-year-old royal book, which once belonged to King Henry VIII, have been uncovered by state of the art digital technology.
Known as the Aberdeen Bestiary, the book was created in 1200 and features stories of animals to demonstrate key beliefs of the period.
It has now been digitally enhanced by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, and published online for the first time in high definition, revealing details previously unseen to the naked eye.
Researchers had thought it was commissioned for a high status client, but newly discovered marks suggest it was a learning tool, describing tales of animals to teach essential beliefs at the time.
They believe it was handpicked by scouts of Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries sometime between 1536 and 1541.
Photographs show previously unseen handwritten notes and dirty thumb marks from Tudor times, divulging that the book was not created for the royal elite, but was in fact used for teaching.
Experts have long debated whether the Bestiary, which is lavishly illustrated in gold leaf, was commissioned for a high-status client or seized during Henry’s reign.
Professor Jane Geddes, an art historian at Aberdeen University, says marks and annotations that were not previously visible point to the book having been picked up by Henry’s scouts.
Professor Geddes said: ‘The Aberdeen Bestiary is one of the most lavish ever produced but it was never fully completed and so the edges of the pages were not finished and tidied up.
‘This means that the tiny notes from those who created it still remain in the margins, providing invaluable clues about its creation and provenance.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci…..z4OtQFJFl4
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