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In the Pierpont Morgan Library, this manuscript is a Book of Hours of the Virgin for Rouen use, wrtitten and illuminated in the late 15th century (1465–1475) [1]. Two instances of malacological interest are included.

Folio 078r has a miniature of the Coronation of the Virgin. The page is described as “Virgin Mary, nimbed, kneels with joined hands raised before Christ, nimbed, crowned, with cross-surmounted globe in left hand and with right hand raised in blessing, seated on throne of canopy type with patterned fabric. Behind them, angel descends with crown toward the Virgin’s head and second angel plays harp. Scene with balustrade decorated with patterned fabric and starred heaven, all within arched gold frame. In lower margin (bas-de-page), ape holding open book rides (mounted on) snail beside beetle. Margins decorated with foliate border of acanthus leaves, flowers, and bird”.

PMM_m167_f078r_

PMM_m167_f078r_d

The snail is close to become a hybrid, with two legs (dog-like? rabbit-like?); the animal has an eye-spot and two tentacles.

Folio 159r shows the Holy Trinity in the miniature. Description of the peage reads “Christ, cross-nimbed, wearing crown of thorns, nude, with right hand to His bleeding side wound, is held by God, cross-nimbed, wearing cope with morse, seated on throne of canopy type decorated with patterned fabric. Dove of Holy Ghost, nimbed, hovers between their heads. At left, angel with joined hands raised kneels on floor before the throne, and two angels hover above. Scene before balustrade decorated with patterned fabric, and starred heaven, all within arched gold frame. In right margin, dragonfly. In lower margin (bas-de-page), hybrid animal with bird’s head, long tongue, animal torso and front legs, and snail shell for hind legs has back turned before nude woman drawing bow and arrow. Margins decorated with foliate border of acanthus leaves, flowers, and strawberries”.

PMM_m167_f159r_

PMM_m167_f159r_d

This is a malacomorph hybrid with a sinistral shell. The whole scene seems a variation on the ‘knight v. snail’ theme that can be found in earlier manuscripts.

Note:
[1] PMM, inv. Ms. M.167, 162 ff. http://corsair.morganlibrary.org/msdescr/BBM0167.htm.

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