Lexicon Browse - C

Cadel - A cadel is a calligraphic decorative extension to the ascending or descending strokes of letters, usually on the first or last lines of a page.Calcination -  The process of enhancing color in an earth pigment by roasting it on an iron plate.Calendar - The calendar sections of illuminated manuscripts most often precede liturgical and devotional texts. In this context, they identify feast days pertinent to the patron and the region, using different colors to highlight important feasts, such as Christmas or the Annunciation (so-called red-letter days).Calf (calfskin) - A leather made from the hide of a calf, used in binding.Calligraphic initial - see Penwork initialCalligraphy - From the Greek for 'beautiful writing', calligraphy is a script that exhibits exceptional and often self-conscious artistry and aesthetic quality in design and execution.Canon page - A page that appears at the opening of the Canon to the Mass, often with special decoration.Canon table - A Gospel concordance system devised in the fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea, in which Gospel passages are numbered in the text (generally in the margins) and correspond to tables, arranged in columnar form, indicating the concordance of passages among the Gospels.Canonical hours - see Divine OfficeCapitals - see MajusculeCaroline A - see Caroline MinusculeCaroline minuscule - A script developed in the monasteries of northern France and Germany in conjunction with Charlemagne's reform of liturgy and learning at the end of the 8th century.Carolingian minuscule - see Caroline minusculeCarpet page - An ornamental page particularly favoured in Insular art, sometimes incorporating a cross into its design, that derives its name from its visual similarity to an Eastern carpet.Cartouche - An ornament in the form of a scroll or shield.Cartulary - A collection of charters in book form.Catchword - A word placed at the bottom of a leaf (or sometimes at the bottom of the last leaf of a gathering) to aid the book binder in the correct ordering of the leaves and gatherings.Chain lines - The whitish vertical lines in laid paper that are produced by heavier wires, or "chains," that support the wire mesh in the paper mold.Chained book - A book whose binding carries a staple and chain for attachment to a desk or lectern, on which the book was read.Chainstitch - The linking stitches used in Coptic bindings to sew the gatherings together.Chamfered boards - see BoardsChamois - see LeatherChancery - The royal or ecclesiastical office that prepared official documents and preserved records.Chancery hand - Any script used for public documents or records.Channel School - A school of illumination that flourished in England and northern France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.Channeling - A system of grooves cut into binding boards to carry the cords that attach the boards to the quires.Charter - A document recording a juridical act, most commonly the grant of property or of rights relating to property.Charterhand - The scripts associated with charters and other official documents.Chemise binding - The medieval precursor of the modern dust jacket, a chemise is a slip-on cover of leather or of a textile such as velvet or linen that protected the binding of a book and its fore edge.Chi-Rho - A graphic symbol (or Christogram) to represent the name "Christ," based on the two Greek letters "chi" and "rho" that resemble an X over a P.Chirograph - A medieval document that has been copied multiple times on one sheet and then separated in a distinctive way so that the different copies fit back together as a protection against forgery.Choir book - A service book containing the parts of the Mass or the Divine Office sung by the choir.Chronicle - A collection of annals or notes of yearly events. Such recordings developed from the practice of annotating Easter Tables (see Calendar).Chrysography - From the Greek word chrysographia, meaning 'writing in gold', chrysography is the use of powdered gold, mixed with glair or gum to create an ink; when dry, the ink is usually burnished.Clasp - A metal fitting attached to the boards at the fore edge of a binding in order to hold the book shut and to preserve the parchment (unless kept at an appropriate temperature and humidity level, parchment tends to cockle and return to the original shape of the animal skin).Classical texts - The literary works of Greek and Roman antiquity.Clubbed ascender - see AscenderCoat of arms - see HeraldryCochineal - A small insect that is used to make the crimson-colored dye carmine.Codex - A manuscript book formed from one or more quires of folded parchment or paper, sewn through the spine, to form a book with leaves in the manner of modern books.Codicology - The study of the physical structure of manuscript books, including the materials used (writing supports, inks); the structure of the quires; binding; and mise en page.Collation - A description of a book's current and original structure, that is, the arrangement of its leaves and quires.Collect book - A service book containing the collects (or prayers) for the canonical hours of the Divine Office.Collectar - see Collect bookColophon - A note at the end of a manuscript or printed book that may give information on the title, scribe (or printer for a printed book), place of production, date of production, sponsor of the copying or publication, etc.Colophon decoration - Simple decorative devices, such as dots, commas, ivy leaves (hedera), or box surrounds, which serve to highlight the colophon.Column picture - A miniature that occupies the width of a column (but not necessarily its height).Commentary - A discussion and/or expansion of a text, generally of a biblical, patristic, or legal character.Common mark of abbreviation - A horizontal stroke over one or more letters in a word indicating that something has been omitted in abbreviation.Complementary shading - The practice, Byzantine in origin, of rendering shading in the modelling of a figure or drapery in a complementary (that is, contrasting) color, rather than with a darker shade of the same color or with black.Computus texts - Works dealing with the calculation of time.Conjoint - An adjective describing two folios in a codex or quire, joined through the fold – i.e., part of one bifolium.Conjugate leaves (Conjoint leaves) - Two leaves connected in the same bifolium.Continuation panel - A panel that provides a decorative background or frame to the letters following a major initial; these latter are known as continuation lettering.Contraction - A method of abbreviation in which one or more letters in the middle of the word have been left out, as in DS for Deus.Coptic sewing - A method (with several variants) of sewing a book during binding: the quires are sewn together by thread carried by two needles working in a figure-eight movement from quire to quire.Copy - see ExemplarCopying from exemplars - see ExemplarCopyist - see ScribeCords - The horizontal supporting bands onto which quires are sewn at the spine to form the book.Cornerpiece - The metal plaques attached to the corners of the boards of a binding to protect them, a popular feature from the fifteenth century on.Correction - The corrections made to a text by the scribe, another member of the scriptorium, a stationer, an owner, or a subsequent reader.Cross-stroke - A horizontal stroke that crosses the upright stroke of a letter like t.Crossbar - see BarCue initial - see Guide letterCurlicue initial - see Penwork initialCurrens - "Running," i.e., written with haste. The lowest grade of any of the varieties of script in the Gothic system of scripts.Cursiva - The class of Gothic cursive scripts characterized by a single-compartment a, tails of f and s that descend below the baseline, and loops on the ascenders of b, h, k, l.Cursive - A form of writing in which the scribe makes comparatively few lifts of the pen between letters.Customary - A book describing the customs - the rituals accompanying liturgical services or monastic discipline, for example - of an ecclesiastical establishment.Cutting - A piece, often a miniature or painted initial, cut out of a manuscript, generally for commercial or collecting purposes.