This is a copy of letter Q from the 'Arnstien Passional,' a twelfth-century German illuminated manuscript. In the nineteenth century the book was part of the Harley Collection held at the British Museum but has since been moved to the British Library. It is possible that rather than seeing the original Sandys copied it from 'Illuminated Ornaments Selected from Manuscripts' by Henry Shaw and F. Madden (1830-1833) which reproduced the whole alphabet from this particualr manuscript. 'Illuminated Ornaments' was on of the books in the library of his patron James Bulwer (see Betty Elzea, 'Frederick Sandys 1829-1904: A Catalogue Raisonné,' p. 141).

  • Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1906.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Frederick Sandys -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Outline Vermillion / Harl - 2800. / B. M
Inscription body Handwritten 1850 c Pencil.


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons, Ltd., Derby p. 396
Frederick Sandys 1829-1904: A Catalogue Raisonné
Betty Elzea 2001 Antique Collectors' Club in association with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service No. 1.C.35., p. 141


Almost certainly to have been acquired by Charles Fairfax Murray from the artist, or from the sale of the contents of the Sandys family home after the death of Sandys' mother in September 1883 (Elzea).

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