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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Stowe 54

Title Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César
Origin France, Central (Paris)
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Artists Netherlandish artist working in Paris. See also Sloane 2433.
Decoration 4 large full-page miniatures, surrounded by foliate borders, in colours and gold (ff. 30v, 83, 186, 203). 2 large half-page miniatures, in colours and gold (ff. 82v, 206v). 31 small miniatures, mostly placed in the margins, mostly surrounded by a large variety of different kinds of flowers and plants, in colours and gold (ff. 2, 3, 3v, 8, 10, 12, 13, 19v, 20v, 22, 22v, 24, 28v, 30, 38v, 42, 44, 60, 64, 76, 116 [two columns wide], 137v, 173v, 178 [two columns wide], 197 [in the text], 201v [two columns wide], 237v, 239 [two columns wide], 256v, 266v [in the text], 284v). Large puzzle initials in gold and blue with pen-flourishing in blue and red, at the beginning of the battles. Small initials in gold with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing.
Dimensions in mm 375 x 260 (225 x 160) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 414 (+ 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning, and 2 original parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather stamped in gilt with the arms of Jean Jacques Charron; red edges.
Provenance Copied by a French scribe from a Neapolitan exemplar of c. 1340 (Royal 20 D I), another copy is Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fr. 301 (see Avril 1969).
Seigneurs d'Esgreville, 15th century: his arms on their own (f. 1v), and dimidiated with those of his wife (f. 2). For the same coat of arms supported by wild men, see also Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Fr. 6477 and 6479, Rothschild 2355 and Vélin 735.
Béraud III of Clermont-Sancerre (b. 1350, d.1426), dauphin d'Auvergne (1399-1426), comte de Sancerre (1419-1426), seigneur de Sagonne (1419-1426): the emblem of a basket encircled with a crown and suspended on a thorn branch (f. 414v). This emblem appears in other manuscripts once possessed by Beraud: Lansdowne 1178, Additional 17366, and Paris, Bibliothèque nationale MSS fr. 9141, 16995, 20089.
The motto on a scroll 'E non plus' and 'Pour la librairie d'Esgreville', in a late 15th-century hand (f. 414v).
Jean-Jacques Charron (b. 1643 d. 1718), vicomte, then marquis de Ménars (Ménars sur Loire, near Blois), baron de Conflans Sainte Honorine, Seigneur de Neufville: binding stamped with his arms; his sale: Abraham de Hondt, The Hague, 10 June 1720, no. 33: see Bibliotheca Menarsiana, ou Catalogue de la bibliothèque de feu Messire Jean Jaques Charron, Chevalier, Marquis de Menars ... Dont la vente publique se fera par Abraham de Hondt, le 10. juin et suiv. 1720.
Shelfmark-number: 'I. Cab. T. 5. A. 2' (inside upper cover).
No. 749 in an English sale-catalogue: printed description (inside upper cover).
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1776, d. 1839), 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos, of Stowe House, near Buckingham.
Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1797, d. 1861), 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos; sold in 1849 to Lord Ashburnham.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1797, d. 1878), 4th earl of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham Place, Sussex.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1840, d. 1913), 5th earl of Ashburnham: purchased by the British Museum from him together with 1084 other Stowe manuscripts in 1883.
Notes This manuscript contains the second redaction of the text and the Roman de Troie is prose version 5: see Jung 1996, pp. 440, 506.
Select bibliography Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1895-1896), I, no. 54.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierter Handschriften des lateinischen Mittelalters, ed. by Harry Bober, 4 vols (London: Warburg Institute, 1916-66), III: Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken (1953), pp. 268-72.

François Avril, 'Trois Manuscrits Napolitains des Collections de Charles V et de Jean de Berry', Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes, 127 (1969), 291-328 (pp. 305 and n. 1, 306 n. 1).

Hugo Buchthal, Historia Troiana: Studies in the History of Mediaeval Secular Illustration (London and Leiden: The Warburg Institute and E.J. Brill, 1971), p. 19 n. 7.

Millard Meiss, with Sharon Off Dunlap Smith and Elizabeth Home Beaton, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry: The Limbourgs and Their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), pp. 7, 25, 62, figs 84, 276.

Sandra Hindman, Christine de Pizan's "Epistre Othea": Painting and politics at the court of Charles VI, Studies and Texts, 77 (Toronto: Pontificial institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1986), pl. 86.

Jeffrey Hamburger, 'The Casanatense and the Carmelite Missals: Continental Sources for English Manuscript Illumination of the Early 15th Century', in Masters and Miniatures: Proceedings of the Congress on Medieval Manuscript Illumination in the Nothern Netherlands (Utrecht, 10-13 December 1989), ed. by Koert van der Horst and Johann-Christian Klamt (Doornspijk: Davaco, 1991), 161-67 (pp. 165-66).

Scot McKendrick, 'La vray histoire de Troye la grant': Truth and Romance in the Late Medieval Story of Troy in Literature and Art', in Why fakes matter: essays on problems of authenticity, ed. by Mark Jones (London: British Museum Press, 1992), pp. 71-87 (p. 75 n. 27).

The Mythical Quest: In Search of Adventure, Ropmance and Enlightenment, intro. by Penelope Lively (London: British Library, 1996), pls on pp. 13, 17.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (London: British Library, 1997), no. 121.

Marc-René Jung, La Légende de Troie en France au moyen age (Basel & Tubingen: Francke Verlag, 1996), pp. 440, 506, 536-38.

Histoire Ancienne jusqu'a César (Estoires Roger), ed. by Marijke de Visser-van Terwisga, 2 vols (Orleans: Paradigme, 1999), vol 1 [an edition of the text], vol 2, p. 14.

Pamela Porter, Medieval Warfare in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2000), p. 42.

Richard H. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse, Manuscripts and their Makers: Commercial Book Producers in Medieval Paris 1200-1500, 2 vols (Turnhout: Harvey Miller, 2000), I: 293, 296, 402 n. 66, II: 124.

Inès Villela-Petit, 'Béraud III ou Guichard II Dauphin? Un cas d'homonymie héraldique', Revue française d'héraldique et de sigillographie, 71-72 (2001-2002), pp. 61, 63.

Paris 1400: Les arts sous Charles VI (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2004), no. 164 [exhibition catalogue].

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 126.


Images
* * *
 
Heraldry

f. 1v
Heraldry
Oedipus hung from a tree

f. 2
Oedipus hung from a tree
Oedipus at Delphi

f. 3
Oedipus at Delphi
 
Oedipus and the Sphinx

f. 3v
Oedipus and the Sphinx
Tydeus and Eteocles

f. 10
Tydeus and Eteocles
Battle between Tydeus and knights

f. 12
Battle between Tydeus and knights
 
Tydeus and the daughter of King Lycurgus

f. 13
Tydeus and the daughter of King Lycurgus
The Tiger of Thebes is killed

f. 20v
The Tiger of Thebes is killed
Amphiaraus swallowed up by the earth

f. 22
Amphiaraus swallowed up by the earth
 
Polynices wounding Eteocles

f. 22v
Polynices wounding Eteocles
Text page

f. 23
Text page
Athenians besiege Thebes

f. 24
Athenians besiege Thebes
 
Hercules is offered an olive branch

f. 28v
Hercules is offered an olive branch
Hercules and the giant

f. 30
Hercules and the giant
Troy

f. 30v
Troy
 
The first destruction of Troy

f. 42
The first destruction of Troy
Medea and Jason

f. 44
Medea and Jason
Paris and Helen in Troy

f. 64
Paris and Helen in Troy
 
Ulysses and Diomedes

f. 76
Ulysses and Diomedes
Text page

ff. 81v-82
Text page
Troy

ff. 82v-83
Troy
 
Text page

f. 88v
Text page
Battle with centaur

f. 116
Battle with centaur
Death of Troilus

f. 173v
Death of Troilus
 
Death of Achilles and Antilogus

f. 178
Death of Achilles and Antilogus
Wheel of Fortune

f. 197
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune

f. 197
Wheel of Fortune
 
The Trojan horse

f. 201v
The Trojan horse
Destruction of Troy

f. 206v
Destruction of Troy
Dido prepares for death

f. 237v
Dido prepares for death
 
Theseus and the Minotaur

f. 239
Theseus and the Minotaur
The Persian women

f. 256v
The Persian women
Rhea Silvia and Amulius

f. 266v
Rhea Silvia and Amulius
 
Battle

f. 284v
Battle
Emblem with scroll

f. 414v
Emblem with scroll

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