Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek, Thott 431

Les queroniques de la bible

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General information

Folio notes:Original foliation does not correspond with modern foliation.
LanguageLanguage object (43)
Approx. date1340 to 1350
Date notes"um 1340/50" (Oltrogge 1987)
Place(s) of productionParis
(Oltrogge 1987), based on illustration and decoration.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] dis qui si est tres b(ie)n euree /
First words of last recto folio[f. 384ra] il remest iluec gisant une /
Incipit[f. 1ra] Ci co(m)mencent les queroniques de la bible . Cest asauoir tout le Genezy . Et puis du roy / Ninus et de fe(m)menie . Et de Tebes . Et de Troye li grant . Et dalixandre toutes les m(er)ueilles / quil fist et quil uit en son temps de toute la uie de Julius Cezar et les fais des ro(m)mains / et la guerre que il orent en contre cartage et encontre moult de diuerses nascions . / QUant diex ot / fait le ciel et / la terre (et) les yaus douces / et salees le soleil la lune / et les estoiles et il ot achas / cun co(m)mande selonc son / ordre Cest adire que li so / laus luisist le iour et /
Explicit[f. 384vc] en mer . Et telz iot qui sofis / trent de leur greffes meismes / dont il orent ocis cesar / Ci fet suetoines de ?sueti? / de sueuure fin [sic: de suen liure fin?] // Ci fenist le liure de iu / lius Cesar qui fu empe / rere de Romme et de / la mort de pompee . Et / de Chaton . Et de plusors / autres senateurs de / Romme . si com suetoines / le dist qui fist ce liure //


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The manuscript is in good condition, except for damage on the top of the spine, some exposure to damp in the lower margins and staining on the verso side of the final folio.The parchment is of a high quality. Few holes and stitches.



1-27(8), 28(4), 29(3), 30-49(8), 50(5)

Quire structure:Generally quaternions, except for quire 28 which is a binion and the irregular quires 29 (three folios) and 50 (five folios)
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (64)
MSQuiremarkDisposition object (63)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

General description:Histoire ancienne ends f. 223rb En lan / quil ot droitement / .vic. iiiixx. et .xiiij. anz que la / cite de romme auoit este / fondee . Mais pource que / ie ai encore fait poi deme(n) / cion de julius cesar ie vo(us) / en co(m)mencerai ci empres / selonc salute et lucan // The Faits des Romains part has been written, decorated and illustrated by other artists. The justification is different (312x210) The number of lines is the same. The intercolumn space is smaller (17 mm). Also, the quality of the vellum is different. Possibly, this manuscript should better be described as two separate manuscript parts. This would entail that they do not belong to the same project, and were not put together until a later stage (but before the end of the fifteenth century, as is suggested by the foliation).
No. of illustrations:102
General illustration:2 frontispiece miniatures spanning the width of three columns, each divided in six parts. 100 miniatures spanning the width of one column. Frontispieces in six parts. The images are encapsulated in quatrefoil windows in three colours. Short tendrils shoot from the miniatures. The frontispieces do not have quatrefoil windows, but are decorated at the top with arches. The intersections of the image windows are decorated with gilded quatrefoils. The illustration is the work of three artists. Artist one was responsible for the 1st quire, Artist two for the following 5 quires, artist 3 for the rest of the MS. Artist one: most accomplished, long slim figures with round or oval heads. Elegantly curved positions. The dress falls in long carefully modelled folds. The mantles are draped in a few, deep folds, the seams are modelled in cascades the colours of the outer fabric and lining alternating. Trees with oval crowns in which the leaves have been drawn. Preference for fissured rock bottoms. Artist two is very similar to Artist one. The stature of his figures is more compact, less elegant. The modelling of folds is marked by the drawing. Artists one and two have the quatrefoil windows; few architectural or landscape elements not informed by the text. Artist three is more different. His figures are rather compact. The width of the heads is stressed by the light-coloured curls. Deep sharp folds of mantles and wide belted dress are always drawn, not modelled. The modelling of the seams is absent. The composition is full of motion, different views, mostly drawn from the back. The images are more densely filled. The quatrefoil windows often (partially) cover the figures. Architectural elements are completely different from artist two. Preference for round towers flanking gates, in the background round towers and gable houses. The colours used for architecture are more dull. No rock bottom ground, green surfaces or completely absent. All three artists use decorative backgrounds in which red, blue and gold dominate. In the miniatures of Two and Three, sometimes instructions to the artist may be distinguished in the lower margin (but mainly Three has misinterpreted these).
General decoration:Up to f. 36v, rubrics usally function as captions for the illustrations they precede. These illustrations are followed by foliate initials (height: 4 to 5 lines), pink, with white flourishings on a field of blue decorated with white. The eye of the letter is goldleaf. The decorated initials extend into the margin in blue and red bars, decorated with white flourishings and goldleaf. These bars end in tendrils with vine leaves in blue and gold, or small dragons in blue and pink. Further subdivisions are indicated by pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines), alternating between red and blue with flourishings in the contrasting colour. As from fol. 36v. these smaller initials are generally, but not always, preceded by a rubricated heading.
Evidence of readership:f. 1r: Added are the arms and emblem (the winnow) of Philip of Cleves. Instruction in the lower margin? f. 384vc: signed: 'Phe(lippes) de cleues'; erased in the lower margin 'Ce liure cy apartient a loys de l[uxembourch conte de / saint pol leq(ue)l lui uint par don de madame ...]' followed by his signature 'Loys de Luxebourg'; also erased, in a large letter 'De Charles', 'Hollande', '?S?emetre', 'Decrespy' and others, all 14th-15th c..
Foliations description:original foliation

Mise en page

Description 1Mise en page of the 'Histoire ancienne'
Page sampledf. 37r.
Page dimensions322x425 mm (mm)
Justification312x217 mm (mm)
21mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (6) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (6) )
Rubricationrubricated captions for miniatures and as from f. 36v also as chapter headings. Latin quotes marked in rubric (e.g. f. 12r).
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:

Description 2Mise en page of the 'Faits des Romains'.
Page sampled225r
Page dimensions322x425 mm (mm)
Justification312x210 (mm)
17mm 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 for rubricated headings and decoration.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:None
ScriptScript object (6)
Folio rangeFrom 1r to 384v
Scribe description:
Notes(Oltrogge 1987)


DescriptionCharles V (Oltrogge 1987)
PlacePlace object (9)
OwnershipPerson object (4)
DescriptionPhilip of Cleves (arms, f. 1r; signature, f. 384v) (Oltrogge 1987)
PlacePlace object (1)
OwnershipPerson object (5)
DescriptionHolland? (signature f. 384v) (Oltrogge 1987)
PlacePlace object (1)