Hand: Hand 1, Scheide 71

Hand 1
Scheide 71
Saec. x/xi

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

This hand was influenced by Square minuscule, particularly in the pen-width and the proportions of bodies, although letters are somewhat rounded. The script is heavy but with much shading. Ascenders are short, particularly in þ which is sometimes barely distinguished from wynn even in the abbreviation for þæt. The descenders are consistently longer than minims and are thick and straight. Single-compartment a was used throughout, most often with a rounded top but sometimes with a sharper point; the back is angled at about 70–80°. The a-component of æ is formed in the same way, and the hook sits on the shoulder and extends slightly above the line; two tall forms are also found, one in ligature with following minims and descenders, and the other with g, t, and sometimes o. The first of these forms has a thin, rising tongue and a relatively narrow top which curves slightly back to the left, and the second has a horizontal tongue and a more rounded top. Round c appears throughout, and the back of d is rounded, is angled at about 30–40°, and can have a slight upward tick. The back of e is thick, with a thick horn and a thin, rising tongue; two tall forms also appears in ligature as for æ. The body of g is S-shaped and hangs from about the middle of the horizontal. Minim-stokes have prominent approach-strokes and similarly prominent feet which can be angled downwards, horizontal, or rising. The shoulders of m and n are often quite rounded, but r tends to be slightly more angular. Low s was used throughout except before t or wynn where the long form is sometimes found. The hook of both s and f is short, and the hook of long s curves down to meet the following descender. Both þ and ð appear throughout, although þ is much more common, even though ð can take initial, medial, and final positions. Initial ð is normal in oblique forms of se, but other examples include ðonne, the conjunction ða and the relative pronoun ðe. The construction of ð is very much like that of d, except that the back is longer, straighter, and angled more consistently at about 45°; it can also be turned upwards at the tip, and has a thin cross-stroke hooked up very slightly at the left and hooked down at the right. Straight-limbed, undotted y was used throughout, the right branch hooked left and the tail hooked right. The top of z is very straight, horizontal, and at cue-height, the diagonal stroke is also very straight and descends well below the base-line at about 45°, and the final stroke is ~-shaped on the base-line.

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