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Sketch Of An Asp, In Philippe De Thaon, Bestiary

Sketch Of An Asp, In Philippe De Thaon, Bestiary

Medium: Ink on vellum

Date: 1160

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Nero A V

Item number: f.61v

Length: 16.1

Width: 11.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The scribe left spaces for illustrations throughout the Bestiary section of this manuscript, but most of these remain blank. The Latin rubric immediately above the blank space on this page states 'Here is painted the asp, and how it blocks its ears': although the painting has not been executed, a faint pencil sketch can be seen, showing how the asp avoids the lure of a snake charmer by pressing one ear to the ground, and putting the tip of its tail in the other.

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