Les Proverbes de Salomon

This is one of more than fifty surviving books of religious and secular texts which the calligrapher Esther Inglis sent to persons of status, influence and wealth. She herself was not from a rich background, and her calligraphy, at which she laboured for most of her life, was done in the hope of financial reward. The precision and evenness of her work is remarkable, and its intensity evinces the ever-present need for patronage. This manuscript of the Proverbs of Solomon was dedicated to the 2nd Earl of Essex. The thirty-one chapters of Proverbs are written in an extraordinary variety of scripts, from conventional romans and italics to elaborate lettres de fantaisie, and a stippled border has been painstakingly drawn round every page.