Marginal Drawings Of A Fish And Deer With Golden Teeth, In Gerald of Wales's 'History And Topography Of Ireland'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Gerald of Wales was born at Monorbier castle, in Pembrokeshire, in 1146. He was educated at Gloucester and Paris, and became Archdeacon of Brecon in 1175. He visited Ireland in 1183, 1185, 1199 and again for about two years from 1204. A version of his text--which is largely concerned with the marvellous things he saw or heard about there--is known to have been read publicly in 1188. This manuscript was written perhaps at Lincoln, probably before Gerald's death in 1223, and it has been suggested that he personally supervised its writing and decoration. This manuscript was later owned by St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury.
Gerald reports that, a few years before the English came to Ireland, their arrival was prefigured by the discovery at Carlingford in County Louth of a fish with gold teeth. The three-line added note in the lower margin refers to a deer with gold-coloured teeth captured at Dunholme, near Lincoln.