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Jean Mansel’s “La Fleur des Histoires” has been re-issued many times and with illuminations in different styles (see also item #1, #72). This manuscript has been made for Philippe le Bon, duc de Bourgogne in 1454. It consists of two volumes which are now in the Bioliothèque de l’Arsenal, part of BNF [1].

BArsenal Ms5088R_f319r_

In tome II, on folio 319r, in the lower left-hand corner of the border a snail together with a heron-like bird is seen. The head of the dextral snail is hidden by the rear feathers of the bird, which either seems to aim at the snail or seems to like what the snail is doing behind its back… It is left to our own imagination.

BArsenal Ms5088R_f319r_d

[1] BNF, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Ms. 5088 réserve, 345ff. http://bit.ly/OclKqD (10.iii.2014).

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