Quite a way to test your pen: drawing a figure that looks like, well, Batman. The nib of medieval quills needed constant adjusting, cutting with a knife. In order to see if it had the right shape, the scribe would test it out on a blank page. This one is filled with such pen trials, most of them written vertically: nonsense words, elongated letters and wobbly lines, all at least 500 years old. The biggest trial, however, looks familiar: a hooded man in which we may see Batman. Long live the needy medieval pen, which produced such delightful creations!
Pic: Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine, MS 3475 (15th century).