Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 776

[Part 1]

» Full parent manuscript detail

General information

LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. datec. 1285 to 1290
Date notesCigni 2012, 259. The writing (variants of double-compartment 'a' with open and closed upper compartments, box-'a' and double-bow 'a', straight 's' and round 's' in final position) would suggest a dating in the last quarter of the 13th c.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
Cigni 2012, 259; Mandragore. The decoration is very similar to that of the Lancelot-Grail manuscripts produced at Douai (Stones, e.g. BnF, fr. 19162) during the same period.
First words of second recto folio[f.2ra] ne sauons sans faille
First words of last recto folio[f. 291ra] QUant la roine yseus
Incipit[f. 1ra] kil mest bien auis
Explicit[f. 291vb] deuant vne


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Good quality vellum with few holes and stitches. Some of the folios have been damaged by water or damp. Many lacunae. Incomplete at the beginning and end.




Quire structure:The volume originally comprised regular quaternions, but there are numerous material lacunae: Quire 5 wants leaves 2 and 6; Quire 7 wants leaves 2 and 7; Quire 9 wants leaf 6; Quire 10 wants leaf 7; Quire 14 wants leaves 4-5; Quire 15 wants leaf 8; Quire 16 wants leaves 3-4? and 8; Quire 17 wants leaves 2 and 7; f. 123 (a singleton) was once the final leaf of quire 16; Quire 20 wants leaf 7; Quire 23 wants leaf 3; Quire 24 wants leaves 2-3?; Quire 26 wants leaf 1; Quire 30 wants leaf 8; Quire 31 wants leaf 1?; Quire 32 wants leaf 7; Quire 33 wants leaves 4-5; Quire 34 wants leaves 6-7?; Quire 39 wants 4 leaves.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (45)
MSQuiremarkDisposition object (27)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (12)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:33
General illustration:Historiated initials mark major subdivisions of the text. These initials are accompanied by elaborate borders (the type of which depends on the position of the initial) consisting of red and pink bars decorated with white flourishings and extending into tendrils of vine (orange, blue and green) on a gilt background. The marginalia in these borders depict hunting scenes, jousts and combat. The borders are inhabited by and decorated with animals (hares, hounds, wild boars, birds) and hybrid figures (birds and dragons with the head of a noble lady, mermen, etc.)
General decoration:Smaller subdivisions are indicated by champie initials (height: 2 lines), gilt on a field of blue and/or pink flourished with white decoration. The eye of the letters is painted pink or blue with white flourishings. Line-filling devices consist of pink and blue bars decorated with white flourishing and goldleaf.
Evidence of readership:f. 1ra: upper margin, old shelfmarks '138' and '7187'. In the lower margin: 'S2'
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1Musical notation on ff. 178, 242 and 267.
Page sampledf. 16r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions308x223 (mm)
Justification203x145 (mm)
15mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is used to highlight letters in the text (at the beginning of a new clause; transition to direct speech).
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 291vb
Date?1275 to 1300
Scribe description:A neat book hand with the following characteristics: box 'a' or two-compartment 'a' (open upper bow); ascenders with some spurs; tall 's' or (less often) round 's' in final position; both 'u' and 'v' in initial position; crossed tironian 'et'.