Hand: Main Hand, The Hague 133.D.22 (21)

Main Hand
The Hague 133.D.22 (21)
Saec. xi1/4
Unknown (Ælfric)

Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)

This hand is quite regular and somewhat rounded. Ascenders are usually as long as or shorter than minims and have slightly split tops. Descenders are longer than minims and are straight or turn very slightly left. Minims have small wedges or approach-strokes and have horizontal feet. The body of a is usually very rotund and quite wide; the top can be quite flat and always curves around to form the back in the same stroke. The a-component of æ is exactly the same; the hook usually sits on top of the shoulder and reaches forward in a wide, rounded loop in tall ligature with a following minim or descender. Round c is found throughout, as is bilinear d. Horned e was used, the back of which is vertical, the lower curve fairly flat but hooked up at the tip, the tongue thin and rising, and the hook rounded but never tall. The tongue of f is long, and the hook branches from below cue-height and is fairly angular. The top of g is flat, and the mid-section hangs from the left, bulges out a little to the left, then turns back to the right, extends horizontally the full width of the letter, then curves back in a wide, closed, but fairly short loop. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all quite rounded and the strokes branch from below cue-height and thicken as they curve over. Long and low s are both found: the hook of low s is fairly angular and branches well below cue-height, and long s has a short hook and was normally used before p, t, and wynn. The scribe preferred ð to þ. The back of ð is long, thick, and somewhat concave up, and the through-stroke is hooked down on the right. The first, left-right stroke of x is fairly thick and fairly straight, but the second, right-left stroke is hooked left at the top, is slightly curved, descends below the base-line, and is hooked right at the bottom. Straight-limbed and round dotted y were both used. The upper branches of straight-limbed y are hooked left and the tail curved left, and the tail of round y is fairly long and also curves left. The top of 7 is long and flat and the down-stroke straight.

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