Samuel PepysItem of the Month
Interior of Roslin Chapel

Interior of Roslin Chapel

Illustrated Notepaper

During a recent paper chase in Paris I was staying by chance near the St Sulpice Church that featured in the novel of multiple conspiracies and sequential clues that I had acquired as a holiday read. The best seller in question is The Da Vinci Code, and it flips between fact and fiction.

St Sulpice houses a brass line set in the marble flooring that marks the meridian (Rose line) that preceded the Greenwich meridian. The novel reaches its denouement in the Rosslyn Chapel which is also on the old meridian line. Although I had never visited this 15th century chapel seven miles south of Edinburgh there was something familiar about the description of the richly carved interior. Thinking the scene might be depicted in my collection of illustrated letter papers I scanned the CD catalogue for Rosslyn, which produced a blank. However, a search under the old spelling Roslin confirmed my memory was not playing tricks.

This engraving was published by J.Brydone of Edinburgh in a series of note papers illustrated with scenes of architectural interest. The column on the left embellished with a floral spiral is known as the Jachin or Prentice Pillar, while the column to the right carved with vertical lines is called Boaz or the Mason’s Pillar. In the novel this symbolism is used to establish a connection with the Knights Templar, King Solomons Temple, and a construct that even involved an attempt at location of the Holy Grail.

Keith Smith

 

This regular feature shows special items from members’ own collections. Submissions by email should include a scan of the item.

 

Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life