- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Thames and Hudson (June 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500276307
- ISBN-13: 978-0500276303
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Celtic Design: Knotwork - The Secret Method of the Scribes Paperback – June 1, 1991
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From the Back Cover
This remarkable series of practical, step-by-step guides brings together the most comprehensive collection ever published of Celtic designs and decorations and provides an invaluable source of inspiration for artists, designers and craftspeople of all kinds.Both freehand and canonical geometric methods are explained and detailed instructions are given on drawing and decorating letters in an authentic Celtic style, as well as on creating your own illuminated manuscript pages.
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Chapter V is a valuable study in the craft geometry of building a panel by dividing a square by means of the half-diagonal star.
Fig. 96 is an ornamental serif from Lindisfarne Gospels, folio 3; fig. 101 shows "border design, full page format; adapted from the book of Durrow, drawn with a quill, as are most of the illustrations in this book.
Chapter 11, Spiral knot borders, includes Romilly Allen's twelve elementary knots, from the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland, first published in 1883, unknown save by a handful of paleographers since - an invaluable source.
The author gives the knots according to the proper, scribal method, "the Secret of the Scribes", which until this book has never been published in any depth before. Figure 113 gives an analysis from a border from the South Cross, Clonmacnoise, in Ireland. The text ends with the eight cord border from the Book of Durrow. Untypically, he omitted to give the exact folio for this design. The appendix gives a selection of sixty variations of the triangular knot, of which several are from traditional sources, but most are original designs. He does not give a bibliography, unlike most of his other books on Celtic art, but this hardly matters as the sources are given in the captions to each figure, where they apply, and this book is primarily an original source book in itself. This book is a rarity in that it is written in the form of a modern illuminated manuscript, calligraphed with a quill throughout, and decorated with beautiful ornamental initial letters. The calligraphy is not as good as that of his later books - the first six are calligraphed, and the quality of the script improves throughout. Nevertheless, it is a pleasant, competent Foundational script, with captions in a Gothicized Irish hand, and as such is a good source book for calligraphers as well as those interested in Celtic Knotwork.
Of all Meehan's books published in the past ten years - over a dozen similar volumes, of which this was only the second - this one remains one of the most popular. It was written as a companion to the first volume, which covers all the other forms of Celtic Design in equal depth and with comparable style, except knotwork, which obviously required a volume all to itself, namely, "Celtic Design: Knotwork, the Secret Method of the Scribes".