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Lon R. Shelby

Book containing regulations for the masons’ craft (see Mason, §I). With the increasing literacy of masons in their own vernacular languages in late medieval Europe, books played a more prominent role in the craft. Well-known examples of books of regulations, ‘Articles and Points’, were developed by English and German masons, based on ‘customs of the masons’ that had been maintained in earlier centuries through oral traditions rather than in writing. Two English versions of the ‘Articles and Points of Masonry’ have survived from the beginning of the 15th century (London, BL, Bibl. Reg. 17 A1; London, BL, Add. MS. 23198), but these were not the first such written ‘custumals’, for the second version (the Cooke MS.) refers to ‘old books of masonry’ and ‘the book of charges’ that had been ‘written in Latin and in French both’.

The English Articles and Points do not stipulate that these written regulations were to be kept in a book in the masons’ ...


Nigel J. Morgan, Howard Creel Collinson, T. P. Connor and Sharon Sadako Takeda

Collection of designs brought together for use as a model or source by artists, craftsmen, and architects.

Nigel J. Morgan

Relatively few medieval preparatory drawings have survived, partly because of the practice of using disposable wax tablets for such work. Those that exist are mostly part of collections of patterns or models, which artists in a particular workshop used as a repertory of ornamental forms and figure types. Characteristic of these collections is the random juxtaposition of differing subjects in different sizes; they are often crowded together with no systematic organization. Several artists of varying quality usually contributed to the model book. The designs were first drawn in lead or silverpoint and then overdrawn in brown or black ink, and in some cases were modelled using brown or multicolour washes. Such designs should be differentiated from the rough sketches that in rare instances are found in the margins of manuscripts as a trial version of the subject painted in the miniatures or historiated initials. The latter are in the true sense sketches, by contrast to the more finished drawings of the pattern books. In distinguishing between these two approaches there has been considerable discussion as to when and why the artist’s sketchbook came to supersede the pattern or model book....