Western MS 097
In detail and variety, the decorated initials of Plimpton MS 034 are more elaborate than those in Western MS 097. This late 13th-century gradual, also held at Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, contains 168 initials with anthropomorphic decorations. These initials typically show the profile of a (male) face, sometimes with a beard and sometimes without. However, due to their ambiguous nature, 22 of these initials could more easily be identified as "grotesque" decorations. Towards the end of the manuscript, a kyriale section in a later hand contains more detailed faces, again portrayed in profile.
Moving from left to right, the first image on this page, from folio 270r, is typical of the face in profile. The second and third images, from folios 170v and 155v, display faces head-on (although the initial on folio 170v also includes one face in profile). These decorations show the limit to the amount of detail in faces of Western MS 097, which is clearly less detailed than even the red, doodle-like dragon in Plimpton MS 034, folio 3v. The fourth and final image shown here, from folio 332r, displays one of the slightly more detailed faces from the kyriale section. Clearly, the images we have seen in Plimpton MS 034 have been significantly more detailed than these anthropomorphic letters.