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This Book of Hours in the collection of the British Museum, London, is known as the “Maastricht Hours”. It was made during the first quarter of the 14th century in the southern Netherlands, probably Liège [1]. This manuscript is very elaborately illuminated, with surprising pictures on many pages, often quite detailed. The calendar is in French, the main text in Latin.

BLL Stowe17_f08r_BLL Stowe17_f08r_d

A malacomorph hybrid is shown on folio 8r. A human head, possibly a monk (?), peeps out of a sinistral shell. The shell has a light pattern of axial ribs, and a large aperture with a thickened lip.

BLL Stowe17_f11r_BLL Stowe17_f11r_d

Also folio 11r shows a malacomorph hybrid. The head could be of a deer with an antler, crown-like, looking at left. The shell from which it is emerging, is sinistral with a thickened apertural lip.

BLL Stowe17_f185r_BLL Stowe17_f185r_detail

On folio 185r another malacomorph hybrid is seen. It appears to me as a cat peeping out of a shell, with the two snail tentacles shown above its head. While looking left, the shell is dextral.

BLL Stowe17_f193v_BLL Stowe17_f193v_d

Yet another hybrid is seen on folio 193v. The shell is dextral, and a bearded monk is emerging from the aperture, looking to above at right.

BLL Stowe17_f222v_BLL Stowe17_f222v_d1BLL Stowe17_f222v_d2

On folio 222v a goat looking at right and a dextral shell form a hybrid. In the lower right hand corner of the page, a knight on a horse can be seen, looking over his shoulder to the hybrid. Seemingly a variation on the ‘knight v. snail’ theme.

BLL Stowe17_f272r_BLL Stowe17_f272r_d

Finally, on folio 272r, the last hybrid in this manuscript is seen. A human figure (the paint of the head being lost) is clapping hands, emerging from a sinistral shell. It forms a pair with a woman clapping hands and dancing. Let’s call it ‘Joy in movement’…

[1] BLL, Ms. Stowe 17, 273 ff. http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Stowe_MS_17.