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This manuscript is entitled “Les premieres Euvres de Jacques Devaulx, pillote en la marine” and is dated 1583 [1]. It is a treatise on how to navigate the globe and shows the insights and practical knowledge at that time. I also found a nice pictures showing the Americas, so here are blending my two worlds.

BNF_MS Français150_f26_d

On f. 18r two decorated initials can be seen, one of which with a bird and one (letter ‘A’) with a stylised dextral snail. Where the animal comes out of the aperture, two protuberances are seen; they seem odd at least.

BNF_MS Français150_f18_BNF_MS Français150_f18_dScreen Shot 2014-02-25 at 08.00.10

On folio 21r, the lower initial (letter ‘L’) is decorated with a hybrid devil pointing a lance (?) in the direction of the stylised, dextral snail with two tentacles and an eye-spot; again, at the aperture, two protuberances may be seen, which seem misplaced.

BNF_MS Français150_f21_

BNF_MS Français150_f21_dScreen Shot 2014-02-25 at 08.01.33

Despite the marine subject, the decorations are terrestrial and are reminiscences from earlier, religious manuscripts.

[1] BNF, Ms. Français 150, 31 ff. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b550024840 (permalink).