, , , , , , , , , , ,

Manuscript 107 in the Bibliothèque Municipal in Verdun (France) is the “Bréviaire de Renaud de Bar (été)”. This manuscript has been partly illuminated (f. 1-179; f. 180-189 have been designed but not coloured) in Metz ca. 1302–1304. [1] This manuscript is interesting because it shows the emergence of the document, but it also has some interesting marginalia that have been designed in great detail. While the breviary was intended for Renaud de Bar (bishop of Metz 1303-1316), it was made on request of his sister Marguerite, abbot of Abby St. Maur [1].

Folio 97r: in the lower right-corner a malacomorph hybrid with a stylised, sinistral shell is shown. The human part is a monk holding a forked club.

Verdun Ms107_f97_Verdun Ms107_f97_d

In the lower marginalia of folio 107v, a variation on the ‘knight v. snail’ team can be seen. A malacomorph hybrid with a stylised, dextral shell is opposing a kind of the knight. The human part of the hybrid is a woman holding a forked club in her right hand and a shield in her left hand. The knight seems to be a nude girl, cladded with cap and mantle, with a sword in her right hand.

Verdun Ms107_f109_Verdun Ms107_f109_d

Finally, on folio 160v, a man with shield and a forked club is about the attack a malacomorph hybrid with a goat peeking outside the sinistral, stylised shell.

Verdun Ms107_f160v_Verdun Ms107_f160v_d

It may be highly speculative, but knowing the history of this manuscript, one is inclined to suggest the hybrid on f. 107v to represent Marguerite de Bar, and the hybrid on f97r her brother Renaud. As the documentation states “On n’est jamais au bout de ses surprises” [never out of surprises]… Just like hunting for snails 🙂

[1] Verdun BM, ms. 107. http://bit.ly/1fS5m8I (8.ii.2014).