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The Letter B, from The Alphabet

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1466–67

Artist:

Master E. S.
German, active c. 1450-1467

About this artwork

Before printing pictures from engraved copper plates developed as a practice, goldsmiths and other metalworkers were the only craftsmen to use sharp pointed tools to incise designs in metal, decorating armor, jewelry, and liturgical objects. The first designs to be filled with ink and pressed onto paper appeared in the Rhine Valley around 1430.
Known only by the monogram that appears on some of his designs, the goldsmith Master E. S. became one of the most prolific engravers in Germany. This rare print is one of 23 letters; medieval alphabets lacked j, v, and w. Although the purpose of the series is not fully known, the letters were likely intended to be designs for manuscript illuminators.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Master E.S.

Title

The Letter B, from The Alphabet

Place

Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1466–1467

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

Sheet, trimmed within platemark: 13.7 × 11.3 cm (5 7/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1936.173

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/22653/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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