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This manuscript is known as the ‘Ormesby Psalter’ in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and is dated ca. 1310 [1]. “A magnificent psalter, possibly from a monestary in Norwich, with the inscription “Psaltarium Roberti de Ormseby monachi Norwyci…”, thus known as the Ormseby Psalter. Beautifully decorated with paintings, borders and marginal illustrations. Some of the marginal illustrations contain bestiary and other animal themes” [2].

Folio 038r shows the first example of the ‘knight v. snail’ theme in the upper marginalia.


The knight is a woman with a shield in her left hand, opposing a sinistral snail with a full-tentacled animal.


On folio 109r a second example may be seen in the right-hand marginalia.


Here the woman (knight) is apparently frightened by the snail and has dropped the shield and sword. The snail is sinistral and all four tentacles are indicated.


[1] BLO, inv. Ms. Douce 366. http://to.ly/Fq7d.
[2] http://bestiary.ca/manuscripts/manu5450.htm.