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This manuscript in the Bibliothèque Municipale in Tours (France) is a Bible with text in Latin and beautifully illuminated, with both marginals, miniatures and decorated initials. Although this is described as “style italianisant”, the Bible originates from Spain, where it was possibly made ca. 1320 [1].

On folio 089r we see a classic ‘knight v. snail’ situation figured. The knight has a bow and arrow, ready to shoot the snail, which is a malacomorph hybrid. The shell is dextral, the head is lion-like with two horns (or suggesting tentacles).

BibMunicTours Ms0008_f089r_BibMunicTours Ms0008_f089r_d

Folio 249v, in the upper margin, shows the same shell, but this time with a snail head, with two tentacles, an eye-spot, its mouth slightly open. To the right is a grasshopper.

BibMunicTours Ms0008_f249v_BibMunicTours Ms0008_f249v_d

Finally, on folio 327v, a miniature can be seen of two women (?) sawing a man’s head. The top part of the miniature is made up by a malacomorph hybrid (this time a sinistral shell), with a lion-like head licking the butt of the ape to the left.

BibMunicTours Ms0008_f327v_BibMunicTours Ms0008_f327v_d

Naughty but humorous!

[1] BM Tours, Ms. 0008, 619 ff. (in two volumes). http://bit.ly/MsTM8G (26.ii.2014).