Bodleian Library, MS. Ashmole 1511
(The Ashmole Bestiary)


Produced: England (Peterborough?), Early 13th century
Location: Bodleian Library, Oxford, England, UK
Type: Bestiary
Family: Second
Language: Latin
Folios: 122
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Vellum
Script: Littera textualis formata
Dimensions: Height: 27.5 cm Width: 18 cm
Folio 14r


The manuscript contains about 130 miniatures with animal illustrations on richly gilded background. There are six full page illustrations, with the remaining images on 100 pages. The images are very well drawn and colored. Two of the images with gold leaf backgrounds have the name of the beast engraved into the gold (ass and onager on folio 32r). The artist may be the same as that of Aberdeen University, Univ. Lib. MS 24; the drawing style is very similar, with many animals identical.

The Aviarium of Hugh of Fouilloy is folio 37r-78r, with the rubric hic incipit de avibus, with 29 full color illustrations. Clark aviary group: Aberdeen.

There is a section of serpents (folio 78r-86r), followed by a section on fish (folio 86r-92r), with only the "multitude of fish" and the whale illustrated. There is a section on plants (De arboribus) on folio 92r-95r (not illustrated. An extract from the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville (Ysidorus de natura) is on folio 95r-103v, with an illustration of Isidore writing. Folio 103v-104r is an illustrated account of the fire stones.

This manuscript is textually paired with Bodleian Library MS. Douce 151, though the illustrations are quite different.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description 1
Additional description 2 (digitized summary catalog)

Editions and Facsimiles

Printed editions

Franz Unterkircher, 1982

Printed facsimiles

Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), Austria, 1982

Digital facsimiles

Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library (partial, scans from slides)