Manchester, John Rylands Library, French 1 (vol.1)

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:The text begins Micha, LXXI, 37 and ends Micha, CIV 65. The switch from beta to alpha between Micha XCV and XCVI occurs at f. 90ra 'Or dist li contes que q(ua)nt / li valles qui auoit este / en voies au tertre de vee /se fu p(ar)tis de lanc(elos) /. IT may be noteworthy that f. 82 probably once was the opening folio of a new volume and that a change of scribe, possibly also exemplar? Occurred here.
LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. datec. 1310 to 1320
Date notesBased on the date of London, BL, Additional 10292-4 (c. 1317) to which this manuscript is intimately related. This copy may be slightly earlier than the Additional manuscript.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
Stones 2010 locates the manuscript in Ghent, Tournai or Saint-Omer. Stones 2013, 65-66 more confidently situates the artists involved in the production of the manuscript (the Douce 5 and Douce 6 artists) in Tournai, but also expresses the possibility that the Douce 5 painter was active in Liege or Luxembourg. The Douce 6 artist seems to have collaborated quite frequently in commissions coming from Ghent and also illustrated manuscripts written in Dutch.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] et mainterrai si lestour ke vous seres /
First words of last recto folio[f. 129ra] mengier p(ar) lost . puis prendent garde a lour /
Incipit[f. 1ra] mendiroie quant moi plairoit . (et) ma vo / lentes est tele q(ue) iou me(n) voel aler ia au / vespre . Car b(ie)n sachies q(ue) iou ne gerra a / nuit en ostel nul se iou ne gis en lostel a / la iouene dame de qui iou me parti /
Explicit[f. 129vb] voir . mais or vous dirai q(ue) nous ferons se / vous cuidies q(ue) ce soit boin mouuons ce / ste autre voie p(ar) deriere lespauellons (et) na sa(m) / blons a nule de lor gent . mais a lor estan /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Good quality vellum with few holes and stitches. Folio 81v is worn. This may indicate that it once was the final folio of a volume. The following folio, 82r., has been lavishly decorated, despite that the text does not correspond to an important junction in the text 'Or dist li contes que / quant la damoisie / le sefu partie de cama / alod que le ceuaucha / toute ior a iornee (et) len / demain ausi . (et) au / tierch ior fist il m(ou)lt chaut si com en / tour le feste saint iehan mais pour / chou ne laisa ele mie a cheuauchier /' . Some folios are stained (e.g. f. 19v).



Full collation (Douce + Rylands volumes) 18(A, Douce ff. 1-8), lacuna, 27 (B, ff. 1-7) 38 (C, ff. 8-15) 47 (D, ff. 16-22) 5-68 (E-F, ff. 23-30; 31-38), 77 (G, ff. 39-45), 8-98 (H-I, ff. 46-53, 54-61) 1010 (J, ff. 62-71) 114 (K, ff. 72-75) 126 (L, 76-81) 13-248 (M-X ff. 82-89, 90-97, 98-195, 106-113, 114-121, 122-129 // Rylands II: ff. 130-137, 138-145, 146-153, 154-161, 162-169, 170-177), 254 (Y ff. 178-181), lacuna of one leaf, 267 (Z  ff. 182-188), 27-298 (AA-CC, ff. 189-196, 197-204, Douce ff. 9-16), 307 (DD Douce ff. 17-23), 314 (EE Douce ff. 24-27), 324(FF Douce ff. 28-31), 338 (GG Douce 32-39), 347 (HH ff. 205-211), 351(II Douce ff. 45), 36-376 (JJ-KK ff. 212-217, 218-223), 388 (LL, ff. 224-231) 394 (MM, ff. 232-235) , 40-428 (NN-PP ff. 236-243, 244-251, 252-257), lacuna, 435 (QQ Douce ff. ff. 40-44), ending incomplete.

Quire structure:
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (60)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:30
General illustration:Seventeen one-column miniatures (height: 9-12 lines), usually preceded by a rubricated caption (directions erased in the margins, cf. Pickford 1948). Broad frames in blue and scarlet, with white flourishings and red-orange qudrangles in the corners. Backgrounds are goldleaf, decor sketchy (some elements of vegetation). Characters are tall, the folds of their garments indicated in ink as well as with shadowing. Stones 2013 has identified the artists as Douce 5 and Douce 6. Douce 5 also appears in London, BL, MS Additional 12092-4 and London, BL, MS Royal 14 E iii. Lancelot's arms are a lion rampant gules on a field argent (which are the arms of Limbourg). It is interesting to note that Douce 5 worked on a 'Tresor' manuscript (c. 1308-1311) which may have been commissioned for Henri de Luxembourg and Margaret of Brabant-Limbourg. In the 15th-c. added illustrations, Lancelot bears the more common white shield with three red bends. Folio 82r, probably once the opening page of a volume (cf. supra) is decorated with a lavish frontispiece, consisting of a miniature portraying Arthur's court, immediately followed by a large champ initial, extending into a L-border of blue and red bars, decorated with white flourishes and goldleaf ending in vine, with red and gilt leaves. The border is inhabited by apes spinning and playing the harp, a dog hunting a rabbit, and an owl. in the left margin, seated on top of the border, is a hybrid figure, half-monk, half- dragon, reading a book. In the left margin, St.-Cecilia is carrying an organ. In the upper right corner, another hybrid is playing the viola for his dog.
General decoration:Large champ initials (height: 5-8 lines), goldleaf on blue and pink fields decorated with white flourishings indicate major subdivisions of the text (usually at a 'li contes' intervention). Frequently - but not always, these initials occur in the vicinity of a miniature, but not necessarily immediately (cf. supra) and rubricated caption or chapter heading. In the majority of cases in which the initial was not accompanied by a miniature (1 in MS Douce 215, 13 in Rylands, MS French 1, vol. 1) a later artist (Stones dates him to c. 1400) has added one-column paintings in the lower margin. Although in the late 14th, early 15th century the use of goldleaf for the backgrounds must have appeared archaic, this ensures that the added miniatures fit in with the contemporary illustration already present in the manuscript (e.g. f. 13va, f. 15rb). The text is further structured by means of pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines), alternating between blue and red, with flourishings in the contrasting colour and emanating into blue and red j-borders spanning the height of the column. According to Stones 2010, two hands (P2, P3) are responsible for the pen-flourishing in the Douce-Rylands volumes with an additional third hand (P1) also occurring in the first two volumes of the Olim Amsterdam manuscript.
Evidence of readership:f. 91v.: Annotation in the lower margin (15th c.)
Foliations description:Two sets of modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right hand corner of the recto. The first begins '73' and has been scored out at a later stage. The second runs from 1 to 129 and bears witness to the current order of folios in the manuscript, not taking into account the Douce quires and folios which have been removed.

Mise en page

Description 1Horizontal throughlines at the top, middle and bottom of the justification.
Page sampledf. 17r
Page dimensions398x285 (mm)
Justification295x200 (mm)
18mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationUsed for decorated initials and rubricated captions
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 81vb
Datec. 1310 to 1320
Scribe description:According to Stones 2010, scribe D of the Olim Amsterdam volume. Large, legible hand. Northern textualis with double compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is closed (double-bow 'a'. few examples of box-like 'a'), ascenders clubbed or forked, exclusively round 'd', 'e' tongued in final position, bow of 'h' extends below the baseline and curves to the left, use of 'i' longa in numerals,diacritic on 'i' in minim group, straight and round 's' in final position with distinct preference for round 's', use of 'v' in initial position. Biting of 'o' and round 'r', 'd' and 'e', 'd' and 'o', 'p' and 'o'. Abbreviations include nasal bar, apostrophe, superscript vowels, 'com'-abbreviation, -'us' abbreviation, 'p' with crossed descender and crossed tironian note. Word-separation not indicated.

Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 82ra to f. 129vb
Datec. 1310 to 1320
Scribe description:According to Stones 2010, possibly scribe A of the Olim Amsterdam volume. Double-compartment 'a' with closed upper compartment, more box-like. More pronounced form of tongued 'e'. Lobe of 'g' not closed. Angular 'h'. Hairline on round 'r'. Straight and round 's' in final position. Abbreviations include superscript vowels (particularly characteristic form of superscript 'a' with elongated upper stroke), nasal bar, 'p' with crossed descender, crossed tironian note, apostrophe, 'us'-abbreviation Biting of round 'd' and 'e', 'p' and round 'r', 'o' and round 'r' Word-separation marked.