May 14, 2017
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Isn’t it annoying when you pick up a book and find a couple of pages missing? I don’t know what the owner of a book called the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye – a manual designed to help priests prioritise religious feast days for saints – thought when thy discovered that two pages had gone astray but at least they have turned up now, I read this week.
Printed by William Caxton and dating from around 1476 or 1477, they were found in a box of papers by a librarian at Reading University, Erika Delbeque. The text features a black letter typeface and red paragraph markings and is one of the earliest examples of western European printing. The leaves are thought to have a market value of £100,000.
That’s all very well but she needs to find the rest of the book, I think.
Let’s hope it hasn’t got into the hands of Australia’s diligent biosecurity officers. It emerged this week that they had incinerated in March a collection of rare (and now even rarer) flowering plants sent by a French herbarium which dated from the early 19th century. They were binned because their accompanying documentation didn’t comply with Australia’s import requirements. There is now a bit of a stushie and herbaria around the world are threatening to stop sending their collections down under.
A case of ying and yang, for sure.