1911 binding showing the Arms of Egerton on the cover.
1995 binding using reclaimed medieval supplies.
One of the four flyleafs at the front of the folio. A signature marks the page with the name Calthorrp, one in a long line of owners of the El.
The motto and signature of Lord North, one of the last private owners of the El in the late 1500 century. You can also see where the vellum has been cut out, near the lower portion of the image.
Notice the Q:3/3. This was one of the many ways that Sir Egerton used to mark books in his library. His system was always changing, leaving many of the manuscripts in his collection with random series of letters and numbers.
The first stanza of the Ballade of the House of de Vere by Rotheley. This poem appears on one of the four flyleafs located at the beginning of the folio.
"Per Rotheley." Located next to the Ballade, claiming authorship.
The Knight. This is an example of the first illuminator's work of the mounted pilgrims. This illuminator painted significantly smaller portraits than the other two artists.
Chaucer's Portrait. Known to be drawn by the most talented of the three illuminators. It is easy to note the disparity between Chaucer's torso and legs. It is likely that this painting was created using an image that featured only the torso of Chaucer, hence, this painting focuses on the torso and disregards the lower half of his body. Notice he is situated on a grassy plot.
A portrait completed by the third illuminator, likely an apprentice. Although the image is smudged, it is easy to see a major difference in the craft exhibited in the first two portraits (above) and the one on the left of the page.
A lovely example of a decorated initial. This "W" starts the general prologue of the Tales.
An example of the demi-vinet design that decorates 71 pages of the El manuscript. Notice the colors present in this example: blues, pinks and red. Gold leafing is obvious on personal viewing.
One of just a few grotesques that appear in the El. This one is on the first folio page of the manuscript.
In the middle of the image the word "explicit" marks the end of Chaucer's prologue.
The Cook's Tale. This was the page available for viewing on the day that I was able to see the Ellesmere. Notice the cook, illustrated by the first illuminator holding a bowl and utensil. This is one of many examples of how the portraits served to accurately represent Chaucer's textual descriptions.
Chaucer's colophon appearing at the end of the tales. Notice the spelling of his name: Geffrey Chaucer. Also, Canterbury is spelled Caunterbury.
The colophon used in the 1995 rebinding of the El MS.