London, British Library, Stowe 54

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:The final flyleaf at the front is the first leaf of the first quire and has the modern foliation '1'. Originally it was not foliated.
LanguageLanguage object (43)
Approx. datec. 1400
Date notesCf. Jung 1996, 536.
Place(s) of productionParis
Cf. Jung 1996, 536. Painted by a Netherlandish/Flemish artist working in Paris.
First words of second recto folio[f. 3ra] et sil les congnoissoit Le roy /
First words of last recto folio[f. 414ra] entendre . et si lui laissa un /
Incipit[f. 2ra] Co(m)ment les sergens pandirent / lenfant / Un Roy estoit adont / en thebes riches et puissant . laius / estoit appellez Il auoit feme / de son lignage qui Jocaste fu / appellee . Cil roy ot un filz bele / creature Quant le roy laius /
Explicit[f. 414rb] tailles appaisiees sico(m)me / eutropius raconte quil / nen estoit nulle qui gra(m) / ment fust greuable par / trestout le monde Et ce / [f. 414ra] fu lan quil ot sept cens ans / que la cite de Ro(m)me auoit este / co(m)menciee afaire . //


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Good quality vellum. Few stitches. Generally in good condition.


Quire structure:Generally made up of regular quaternions.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (62)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:37
General illustration:BL, Catalogue of illuminated MSS: "4 large full-page miniatures, surrounded by foliate borders, in colours and gold (ff. 30v, 83, 186, 203). 2 large half-page miniatures, in colours and gold (ff. 82v, 206v). 31 small miniatures, mostly placed in the margins, mostly surrounded by a large variety of different kinds of flowers and plants, in colours and gold (ff. 2, 3, 3v, 8, 10, 12, 13, 19v, 20v, 22, 22v, 24, 28v, 30, 38v, 42, 44, 60, 64, 76, 116 [two columns wide], 137v, 173v, 178 [two columns wide], 197 [in the text], 201v [two columns wide], 237v, 239 [two columns wide], 256v, 266v [in the text], 284v)." Painted by a Netherlandish artist working in Paris? The location of smaller miniatures in the bas-de-page is uncharacteristic of manuscripts produced in Paris or the North of France. This location may reflect the organization of the Italian exemplar (in casu Royal MS 20 D I). Some of these paintings in the lower margin have foliated borders, others do not.
General decoration:Major subdivisions in the text have been indicated with gold and blue puzzle initials with blue and red flourishings. These initials are generally preceded by a rubricated titulus. Smaller initials (height: 2-4 lines) in gold and blue with blue or red flourishes, indicate further subdivisions. In the Troy section, these are generally not preceded by a rubric. In the other sections, these initials usually follow a titulus. "Large puzzle initials (height: 6 lines) in gold and blue with pen-flourishing in blue and red, at the beginning of the battles. Small initials in gold with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing."
Evidence of readership:The arms of the Seigneurs d'Esgreville, supported by two wild men, are painted on the verso side of the vellum flyleaf at the front of the manuscript. On f. 2r, in the lower margin, these arms are repeated but combined with those of the lord's wife. f. 232r: added in the upper margin (15th c.) “Dont vindrent les francoys” (rubric: Dont les roys de france orent leur commencement) f. 240v: ‘La so(m)me du te(m)ps du p(re)myer p(ier)re’ (progeny of Eneas) f. 414v: emblem and motto 'E non plus'. This emblem also appears in other manuscripts of Béraud III of Clermont-Sancerre. ''Pour la librairie d'Esgreville'' (BL). BL: "Copied by a French scribe from a Neapolitan exemplar of c. 1340 (Royal 20 D I), another copy is Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 301 (see Avril 1969). Seigneurs d'Esgreville, 15th century: his arms on their own (f. 1v), and dimidiated with those of his wife (f. 2). For the same coat of arms supported by wild men, see also Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Fr. 6477 and 6479, Rothschild 2355 and Vélin 735. Béraud III of Clermont-Sancerre (b. 1350, d.1426), dauphin d'Auvergne (1399-1426), comte de Sancerre (1419-1426), seigneur de Sagonne (1419-1426): the emblem of a basket encircled with a crown and suspended on a thorn branch (f. 414v). This emblem appears in other manuscripts once possessed by Beraud: Lansdowne 1178, Additional 17366, and Paris, Bibliothèque nationale MSS fr. 9141, 16995, 20089. The motto on a scroll 'E non plus' and 'Pour la librairie d'Esgreville', in a late 15th-century hand (f. 414v). Jean-Jacques Charron (b. 1643 d. 1718), vicomte, then marquis de Ménars (Ménars sur Loire, near Blois), baron de Conflans Sainte Honorine, Seigneur de Neufville: binding stamped with his arms; his sale: Abraham de Hondt, The Hague, 10 June 1720, no. 33: see Bibliotheca Menarsiana, ou Catalogue de la bibliothèque de feu Messire Jean Jaques Charron, Chevalier, Marquis de Menars ... Dont la vente publique se fera par Abraham de Hondt, le 10. juin et suiv. 1720. Shelfmark-number: 'I. Cab. T. 5. A. 2' (inside upper cover). No. 749 in an English sale-catalogue: printed description (inside upper cover). Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1776, d. 1839), 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos, of Stowe House, near Buckingham. Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1797, d. 1861), 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos; sold in 1849 to Lord Ashburnham. Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1797, d. 1878), 4th earl of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham Place, Sussex. Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1840, d. 1913), 5th earl of Ashburnham: purchased by the British Museum from him together with 1084 other Stowe manuscripts in 1883."
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right-hand corner of the recto (f. 1-414, vellum flyleaf at the front also foliated). Original, fifteenth-century foliation in roman numerals centered in the lower margin. The vellum flyleaf at the front has not been foliated.

Mise en page

Description 1Horizontal throughlines at the top and bottom of the justification.
Page sampledf. 17r
Page dimensions375x280 (mm)
Justification220x160 (mm)
20mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is used for decorated initials and rubricated tituli.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (9)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 414va
Datec. 1400
Scribe description: