London, British Library, Additional 17443

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. datec. 1250 to 1275
Date notesDate suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project. The BL Catalogue of Illuminated MSS has 2nd half of the 13th c. The association with Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 223, Le Mans 354 and BnF f. fr. 770 would suggest a date c. 1280-1285.
Place(s) of productionDouai
BL Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts suggests France (Paris or Douai?). The Lancelot-Graal project tentatively puts forward Paris, without great certainty. The BL attribution is based on art-historical evidence. It is suggested that the Douai artist who also worked in Oxford Bodleian Library, Digby 223, Le Mans 354 and Paris, BnF, 770.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] de ceanz qar nos avons veu toz iorz que vos /
First words of last recto folio[f. 127ra] enploiee. Lors monte Girflet es terre /
Incipit[f. 1ra] A la veille de la pantecoste quant li compaignon de / la table ronde furent venu a camaalot et / il orent oi le servise et len voloit metre le ta / bles a eure de none lors entra a la sale a che / val une moult bele damoisele et fu venue si grant / oirre que bien le pooit lon vooir […]
Explicit[f. 127[…] Ci gist lucans libouteilliers / que li rois artus esteint desouz lui. De / sus lautre quitant iert merveilleu / se et riche. Avoit lestres qui disoirent / ci gist li rois Artus . qui par sa valor / mist en sa subiection .xii. reaumes / et quant il voit ce si se pasme de lut la / coulx. Et quant il revient de pamoison /

Related MS

According to the BL Catalogue of Illuminated MSS, the same Douai artist worked in these MSS, but does not include BnF f. fr. 342, listed in Stones 2013, 215. Stones does not mention BL Add. 17443, but includes BL Harley 1629 (Prophecies of Merlin).
RelationshipType object (2)Manuscript object (302)
Manuscript object (221)
Manuscript object (237)
Manuscript object (310)
Manuscript object (169)


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The vellum is very thin and of medium quality. Some holes (e.g. ff. 35, 36) end tears (f. 53, repaired f. 54). Folio 79: only one column, the rest of the page has been cut. Writing on the recto and verso side. No text loss.


Quire structure:
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (18)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:2
General illustration:Single column miniature at the beginning of the 'Queste' (f. 1ra, height: 10 lines) and 'Mort' (f. 62ra., height: 13 lines). Both images are framed in red and scarlet bars. The scenes are situated in an arched interior. The 'Queste' image has and additional frame in goldleaf traced in black ink. The frame of the 'Mort' image is decorated with horseshoe-like motifs. The miniature at the beginning of the 'Queste' shows how a female messenger on horseback disturbs the Pentecost feast. The 'Mort' image portrays a king and a scribe who is writing. Both figures are seated. This miniature could either portray King Arthur and one of his scribes, or alternatively Henry II and Walter Map.
General decoration:Smaller, pen-decorated initials in red and blue with flourishings in the other colour.
Evidence of readership:The coat of arms of the Swiss-French Grandison / Granson (?) family has been added in the lower margin of f. 1r. On f. 14rb, bottom lines marked with '+' in the right margin, a(n early?) modern hand has added voi fol./ recto CI / de la 1ere / partie de / l’edition de 1516. On f. 14v: scribbling below the left column. On f. 21v: probatio pennae, below right column, 6 letters 'a’ in Gothic textualis. On ff. 49r and 62r, scribbles in the lower margin.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto. Medieval foliation in roman numerals at the top of the left margin of the verso side (in most instance partially trimmed). Modern f. 3 corresponds to ancient fol cc.v. This suggests that the MS was part of a more complete set of the Lancelot-Graal, bound in one MS, which also included the 'Lancelot'.

Mise en page

Description 1Prickings in the inner and outer margins of the folio.
Page sampledf. 3r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions290x200 (mm)
Justification220x153 (mm)
9mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationNo tituli in red ink.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1 ra to 127vb
Datec. 1250 to 1300
Scribe description:Northern textualis, with two-compartment 'a', with open upper compartment, straight 's' in all positions. Vertical stroke of 't' barely ascends above the headstroke. Ascenders with sloped top. Abbreviations include apostrophe, superscript vowels, nasal mark, 'com'-abbreviation, crossed tironian 'et' and 'p' with bar through descender. Biting of 'o' and round 'r'.
NotesThe 'Mort Artu' (f. 62 onwards) appears to be copied by an other scribe.The hairlines at the descenders of the letters 'z','h' and 'g' are more curved; in final position round 's' is used. No indication of word-separation. From f. 78 onwards, litterae notabiliores in the text. On f. 96 litterae elongatae at the bottom of the page.


DescriptionThe coat of arms in the lower margin of f. 1r suggests that the MS was owned by the Swiss-French Grandson family (BL Catalogue of Illuminated MSS).
PlacePlace object (3)
OwnershipPerson object (124)