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Manuscript Calligraphy Earrings

The written word was an art form in the premodern world. Calligraphers filled the pages of manuscripts with scrolling vines and delicate pen flourishes, and illuminators depicted captivating narratives within large letterforms. These intricate pattern earrings celebrate Georg Bocskay's (Hungarian, died 1575) artful script from Mira calligraphiae monumenta (Model Book of Calligraphy), a sixteenth century manuscript in the Museum's collection.

- Dimensions: 1 1/2 inches L x 1 1/4 inches W
- Materials: Electro-plated brass with non-tarnishing silver finish, hypo-allergenic ear wires
- Made in the USA
- Item #: 11322DH

From 1561 to 1562, Georg Bocskay, the Croatian-born court secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, created this Model Book of Calligraphy in Vienna to demonstrate his technical mastery of the immense range of writing styles known to him. About thirty years later, Emperor Rudolph II, Ferdinand's grandson, commissioned Joris Hoefnagel to illuminate Bocskay's model book. Hoefnagel added fruit, flowers, and insects to nearly every page, composing to enhance the unity and balance of the page's design. It was one of the most unusual collaborations between scribe and painter in the history of manuscript illumination.

Original Artwork Details
Butterfly, Marine Mollusk, and Pear
Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)
Flemish and Hungarian
Vienna, Austria (Place Created)
1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596
Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink
Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.)
Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 118