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In the previous post reference was made to the paper of Pinon, who – after having  described the miniature in the ‘Compost et calendrier des bergiers’ – said “[t]his paraphrases an iconographic subject appearing as early as the fourteenth century, in the Missale Romanum of Amiens illuminated by Pierre de Raimbaucourt”. This manuscript, present in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, is known in the catalogue as ‘Festal Missal’ and dates back to 1323 [1].

Pinon also referred to an illustration in Van Moerkerken [2], possibly the only version of the figure in the manuscript he knew. It shows a simplified version, and depicts “A warrior, armed with a slingshot and accompanied by his wife, who is holding a distaff, stand[ing] behind a shield [with the face of a lion] planted in the ground, facing the onslaught of a snail” [3].


In the full version of the manuscript, the illumination is in the lower border of folio 016v, and shows much more detail. The two tentacles of the snail are long and pointing towards the knight; the head of the snail is dog-like, with an eye, a nose and a pointed ear. The shell is dextral, 2 1/2 whorls, with axial marks suggesting ribs or a colour pattern.

KB_78 D 40_f016v_KB_78 D 40_016v_ondermarge

[1] KBH, Ms. 78 D 40, 177 ff. http://manuscripts.kb.nl/show/manuscript/78+D+40. Many thanks are due to Ed van der Vlist, curator of medieval manuscripts, for sending me pictures of the folio discussed.
[2] Moerkerken, P.H. van, jr. (1904). De satire in de Nederlandsche kunst der Middeleeuwen: i–iii, 1–243. S.L. van Looy, Amsterdam (fig. 27); this figure was reproduced as plate 3 in Pinon 1980.
[3] Pinon 1980, p. 81.