Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, MS 404
(Rothschild Canticles)


Produced: Flander of the Rhineland, ca. 1300
Current Location: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Manuscript Type: Miscellany
Language: Latin
Folios: 190
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 11.8 cm Width: 8.4 cm
Sample page - Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library MS 404
Folio 168v


A book of miscellaneous canticles (songs) for Christian church use. It is extensively illustrated throughout with high quality paintings. Many of the illustrations feature animals; some are based on the bestiary tradition but most are more whimsical, domestic or allegorical. The artist (or the person who planned the decorations) clearly was familiar with the bestiary animal stories. There are multiple full page illustrations and a many smaller illustrations. The margins are also inhabited by numerous hybrid beasts, grotesques and other decorative figures, along with many animals. The text itself does not appear to describe animals.

There is also an illustrated section on the monstrous human races said to live in the east (folio 113r-114r).

The manuscript is bound in two volumes but the pagination is continuous as though it was one volume.

Additional Descriptions

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Editions and Facsimiles

Digital facsimiles

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library