June 10, 2011

Book of the Week: The Jewel Book of Anna of Bavaria

I stummbled across this lovely book while I was searching around the web for Sims 2 Tudor and Medieval downloads (yes, my nerdiness continues to grow). This stunning book is titled "The Jewel Book of Anna of Bavaria." Anna (originally from Austria) lived from 1528-1590. She was married to Albrecht V or Bavaria. She had an amazing  collection of jewels. This book "was commissioned in 1552 by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria...an inventory of the jewelry owned by the duke and his wife, Duchess Anna, a member of the Habsburg dynasty and a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I. The work contains 110 magnificent drawings by the Munich court painter Hans Mielich."

Here's the link to the main descriptor page. Here's the link to look inside this beautiful manuscript.

The description also points out one of the most intriguing Tudor-era pictures I have seen. It states, "One of the most impressive of these drawings is the front page miniature showing Albrecht and Anna playing chess, with Albrecht portrayed as a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece."

How did this book survive to the present day? According to the site, it is "because of its outstanding importance as a work of art, the manuscript was kept in the private ducal and electoral Chamber of Artifacts for almost three centuries—long after the originals of the jewelry depicted had been lost. Only in 1843 was the work presented to the Bavarian State Library by King Ludwig I."

This book is extremely rare and offers a stunning glimpse into the world that few of that time had access to. It is also important because books like this rarely survived to modern times. I be that Henry VIII had a very similar book, as did his wives. Speaking of which, check out page 81. Look familiar?

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