British Library, Royal MS 15 E II-III
(Des Proprietez des Choses)


Produced: Flemish (Bruges), 1482
Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Type: Encyclopedia
Language: French
Folios: 576
Author: Bartholomaeus Anglicus
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Vellum
Dimensions: Height: 47 cm Width: 34.3 cm
Folio 11r


French translation by Jean Corbechon of the Liber de proprietatibus rerum of Bartholomaeus Anglicus. In nineteen books. Two volumes. Volume 1 (15 E. ii) contains books 1-11; Volume 2 (15 E. iii), books 11-19. The chapters on number and music in Book 19 (sometimes called Book 20) are here omitted.

Translator's preface begins 'A treshault et trespuissant prince Charles par la diuine pouvueance'; author's preface (f. 9r), 'Comme il soit ainsy que les proprietez des choses ensuyuent'; text (f. 10v), 'En conuoitant a declairer'. Ends 'diligamment le visiteront. Amen. Le liure des proprietez des choses fut translate de latin en francois lan de grace mil ccc. soixante douze par le commandement de trespuissant et noble prince Charles le quint de son nom regnant en ce temps puissamment en France, et le translata son petit humble chapelain frere Jehan Corbechon de lordre saint Augustin, maistre en theologie de la grace et promotion dudit prince et seigneur tresexcellent. Escript par moy Jo. du Ries et finy a Bruges le xxve iour de May, anno 1482'.

The style of the illuminations of the volumes is rather different. Volume 1 has a border with gold ground (f. 7r); Volume 2 a border (f. 11r) with flowers and birds in perspective on a gold ground; both are somewhat more like the books produced at Lilie. The directions for the illuminator were in words, see f. 60r. The subjects of the miniatures, of very fair execution, are:

  1. Charles V enthroned (inscription on canopy 'Knrolus dei gratia rex Francorum') receives the book from Jean.
  2. The Trinity and an angel. f. 10v.
  3. Circles of angels. f. 19v.
  4. Man, woman, devil, and angel. f. 38r.
  5. The complexions. f. 60r.
  6. Patient and physicians. f. 77v.
  7. Seven ages of man: the youngest with balls and stick for the game of 'chole' (?). f. 139v.
  8. Surgeon and patients. f. 165r.
  9. God and man. f. 213r.
  10. Fruit-gathering, woodcutting, reaping, &c. f. 247v.
  11. Mason and carpenter, the master seated behind. f. 265r.
  12. Cirdes of the elements. f. 270v.
  13. The author and various kinds of birds. f. 11r.
  14. The author: a pond, fountain, &c. f. 32r.
  15. Various animals. f. 49v.
  16. The world, circular, divided into three sections, Europe, Asia, and Africa. f. 67v.
  17. Miners. f. 102r.
  18. Arboriculture. f. 126r.
  19. Camel, unicorn, lion, dragon, and other animals. f. 200r.
  20. Dyeing. f. 269r.

[Adapted from the British Library description]

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