"In Medieval times, book illustrators aimed to produce very rich illustrations to decorate their books. For inspiration they kept pattern or model books. These books contained jottings of anything that caught the illustrator's eye: figures, animals, monsters, decorative capital letters, borders, motifs. But these weren't drawn firsthand - they were all borrowed from earlier books, paintings or glass windows. [..]
Pattern books were practical tools and also helped to circulate artistic traditions and ideas around the manuscript making community. Because they were working documents, passing between many different people, few medieval pattern books have survived."
The present work, Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504 ('The Tudor Pattern Book'), is unique in the sense that it is part-bestiary, part-herbal and an important visual record of early cultivated plants. It was produced in East Anglia in about 1520 and its twin (known as the 'Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary' and perhaps a little older than the Ashmole variant) is now part of the Yale Center for British Art collection in
- Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504 is hosted on the Oxford University Luna servlet - just over one hundred thumbnail pages.
- A medieval pattern book at the British Library.
- From the model-book to the sketch-book.
- Hemp and Hops, together again at last (from Got Medieval) on this image from the Ashmole 1504 manuscript.
- Previously related and well worth seeing: Gothic Illuminated Sketchbook & Lace Modelbuchs [also: Lace Typography & The Bodleian Library Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts]
- The Medieval Bestiary.
- Just because I found it in passing: The Art Tribune - the latest news in western art from the Middle Ages to the 1930s. [great link list to image sources too]
- 'Two East Anglian Picture Books : A Facsimile of the Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary and Bodleian Ms. Ashmole 1504', ed. by Nicholas Barker (London: The Roxburghe Club, 1988) [see here; it's listed at a few bookseller and catalogue sites]
- 'Flowers and Trees of Tudor England' by Clare Putnam London: Hugh Evelyn, 1972) "..original English edition. small folio, unpaginated (ca. 70 pp.), reproducing 32 full page color plates form leaves from Ms. Ashmole 1504" [Listed by Gardenbooks site & Amazon].
- Also reproducing colour images from our Tudor Pattern Book: 'Shakespeare's Flowers', 1994. London: Pavilion Books Ltd by Jenny de Gex.