Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 12580

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:Due to a physical lacuna at the end of the MS, the 'Mort' ends incomplete. Folios missing after ff. 111 (Micha 1960, 176: at least six, given the quire structure possibly eight), 240 and 242. The parchment flyleaf at the front of the MS has been foliated. Folio torn between ff. 187 and 188.
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. datec. 1290
Date notesDate suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project. Arthurian Fiction has 1275 to 1280.
Place(s) of productionFrance?
The Lancelot-Graal project suggests Paris or Acre, based on the identifcation of the artist as the Hospitaller Master. Stones 2013, 54 does not list the MS as part of the Hospitaller Master's oeuvre. Mandragore does not attribute the decoration to a particular artist and situates the MS in France, during the fourth quarter of the 13th c.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] espees et nefontmie semblant  que il soi /
First words of last recto folio[f. 243ra] Grant honeur . (et) lafesons enterrer en lapl(us) /
Incipit[f. 1ra] CI endroit dist li / contes que qua(n)t / agrauains deses (com)paig / nons . si (com)me vos / auez oi . quil erra / .ij. iorz et .ij. nuiz / sanz auenture tro / uer que lendoie / ramenteuoir enliure . Et entouz les leus /
Explicit[f. 244vb] qui ieserai . Atant separtirent ambe / dui delanc(elot) . et il renest v chastel . (et) . i . / escuier auec lui . Siafet appareillier / vnes iceles armes come illeur adeui /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The recto side of f. 1 is worn. ff. 96v-97r stained. Some holes and stitches (e.g. f. 125), generally not in the written space. In the lower margin of f. 124, a piece of vellum in the form of a shield has been excised.



1-128 (ff. 2-97) 136 (ff. 98-103) 14-238 (ff. 104-183) 248-1 (ff. 184-190) 25-308 (ff.191-238) 318-2 (ff. 239-244).

Quire structure:Most gatherings are regular quaternions. Quire 13 is a ternion. Folio 151v has been left blank, allowing the 'Queste' to start in a new quire. After f. 187, one folio has been torn from quire 24, which now has seven folios. One bifolium missing in quire 36 consisting of the ff. between 240-241 and 242-243. This quire, which originally was a quaternion, now has six folios. One or more quires wanting at the end of the MS. In the first quire, unusual system of indicating consecutive bifolia with letters in the inner margins of the verso (bottom) and following recto (top), ff. 2v (A), 3r (B), 3v (C), 4r (D), 5v (E) and 6r (F). The same system in quire 28 (ff. 215-222).
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (17)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:3
General illustration:Single-column miniatures(height: c. 12 lines) at the beginning of the 'Agravain', 'Queste' (f. 152ra, height: ) and 'Mort' (f. 223va). Double frames, traced in black ink. The outer frame is blank. The inner frame is made up of blue and red bars, decorated with white flourishings. Backgrounds are guilt. The image at the beginning of the MS shows an armed knight (Agravain) riding away from his companions. The 'Queste' opens with a depiction of the feast at Pentecost. King Arthur is seated at the left, his knights all positioned at the other side of the image. Finally, the miniature at the beginning of the 'Mort' has Arthur, lying in state, a cleric leading the funeral service. The Lancelot-Graal project suggests that these miniatures were painted by the Hospitaller Master. Although there are stylistic similarities (e.g. the depiction of knights and clerics) the images appear more rigid and less accomplished than those in the Tours 'Estoire' MS, painted by the Master or an artist from his circle. Stones 2013, 54 does not list the MS as a product of this group.
General decoration:Champ-initials (height: 7-9 lines) after miniatures and at important junctions in the texts. These initials are goldleaf, painted against coloured backgrounds. The field and eye of the letter have been quartered. Each quarter is painted either pink or blue and decorated with white flourishings. Smaller champlike initials (height: 2 lines) at paragraphs. The letter is gilt, fields are pink and blue, with white decoration. Line-fillers (different types: tilde, L-shapes, wavy lines separated by colon) in plain ink.
Evidence of readership:On f. 2r, in the upper margin in a modern hand 'Bibliothecae Sedanensiae'. On f. 7r, no(ta) b(e)n(e) at the virtues a knight should have. In the outer margin of f. 30v, in a 15th-c. hand 'yci suis'. In the upper margin of . 124v, a later hand has drawn a hybrid and a female head. On the facing f. 125r, also in the upper margin, the same hand has drawn a male head. On f. 151rb, the explicit has been repeated in a later, 15th-c. hand. On f. 65r, in the lower margin, a drawing of a girl with a flower (possibly in response to the text).In the same hand, a name: C (or 'E'?) followed by a 3-like abbreviation sign and a surname which could be read as 'iacaud'.
Foliations description:Two modern foliations in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto. Probably because the edges were when the MS was rebound, the second foliation is not visible on all pages. It does not take into account the vellum guardleaf at the front, and runs one folio behind. When present, it has been stricken through.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 10r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions338x236 (mm)
Justification259x176 (mm)
15mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationNo rubricated tituli.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 2ra to f. 244vb
Datec. 1275 to 1300
Scribe description:Textualis rotundus, with double-compartment 'a' with open upper compartment, 'b','h','l' with clubbed ascenders, uncial 'd', 'e' without tongue, 8-like 'g' standing on the baseline, limb of 'h' curves below the baseline, diacritic on 'i' in minim group, mostly long 's' in final position, some instances of round 's', dotted 'y', 3-like 'z'. Relatively low degree of abbreviation, including crossed tironian 'et', 'com' abbreviation, 'us' abbreviation, superscript vowels 'a', apostrophe. High degree of fusion, including 'de', 'do', 'pe', 'po', 'co', 'ci', 'o' and round 'r'. 'st'-ligature. Punctus. Word-separation not marked.