Metal point

A writing implement made of metal and used for annotation, drawing, and ruling, which leaves a trace element on the writing surface. This mark varies in appearance according to the metal used (and any alloys present), with a ferrous point leaving a brown mark, silver and lead (lead point) leaving a silver-grey trace, and copper alloys sometimes leaving a grey-green mark. The marks produced are more discreet than those made with ink but more visible than those made with a hard point. Metal point increased in use from the eleventh century on. Instructions to artists and binders' notes were often executed in this medium.


Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).