MS M.890, fols. 1v–2r

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Fountains Abbey bestiary

England, probably North Yorkshire
ca. 1325–1350
227 x 152 mm

Gift of Alastair Bradley Martin, 1958

MS M.890, fols. 1v–2r
Page description: 

Left Page (Fol. 1v)
Tiger: A hunter uses a mirror to distract a tiger while he steals away her two cubs.

Pard: A pard—a fierce mythical feline with a mottled coat—is depicted here with a humanoid face and beard.

Panther: The charismatic panther attracts animals with its fragrant breath.

Right Page (Fol. 2r)
Unicorn: A unicorn is lured by a maiden to her lap so that a male hunter can drive his spear through its flank.

Lynx: A lynx makes a puddle of urine, which was believed to harden into a precious stone.

Griffin: A griffin—part lion, part eagle—strikes a heraldic pose.

Elephant: A war elephant, which the text tells us is as big as a mountain, bears on its back a European-style crenelated castle guarded by two soldiers.