Livre de la chasse
Bequest of Clara S. Peck, 1983
Ex Libris of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Spain
The Morgan Phoebus, a book fit for a king, was given to Ferdinand and Isabella a few years before 1492, when they retook Granada and added the pomegranate (its symbol) to their coat of arms. As a sign of their ownership, they commissioned a Castilian artist connected with Juan de Carrion to add this splendid ex libris to the manuscript. The emblems in the inner border reflect the monarchs' conjugal bond, for each used the one belonging to the initial of the other: Ferdinand, the yoke (iugo, the I) and Isabella, the arrow (flecha, the F). The animals in the outer border offer a prelude to the manuscript, as they are quoted from its miniatures.
Table of Contents
Tables of contents, or chapter headings, have a long history, as examples from antiquity attest. They became increasingly popular during the later Middle Ages, especially in secular manuscripts. Here, for example, are the headings for chapters one to thirty-five. Those for the remaining fifty chapters are on the next two pages. The heading for the first chapter is Cy devise du cerf et de toute sa nature (Here is discussed the stag and all its nature). This heading is repeated in red as the rubric for the text that follows the miniature depicting stags (shown in the case to the right). This pattern of miniature, chapter heading (rubric), and text is followed throughout the manuscript.
Image courtesy of Faksimile Verlag Luzern