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“This is a remarkably large and lavishly illuminated Book of Hours, combining French and English styles. The first leaf contains a list of obits members of the royal family and of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Earls of Ormond and their wives, so it was probably made for Anne Boleyn’s grandfather, Thomas Butler (1426-1515), 7th Earl of Ormond, or a member of his family. It was given in the early 16th century to a chapel at ‘Suthwyke’, probably Southwick in Hampshire. The start of the Hours of the Virgin, facing a full-page miniature, has an initial ‘D’ and border of typical English foliage, inhabited by a snail and hybrid creatures” [1].


The snail is found on f. 016r, has a dextral shell with an exceedingly large aperture. The animal looks like a snail at first glance with a humanised face, but a closer look makes me think it is a hybrid: two legs beneath and a rounded ear, giving the impression of a rat-like creature. No doubt imaginary…, but fitting in the others on the page.



[1] BLL, inv. Royal 2 B.xv, ff. http://to.ly/Ftqq.