Ms Typ 131


Ms. Typ 131, fol. 1r France, between 1452 and 1475 Treatise on Tournaments

This treatise on the form and organization of tournaments, which is dedicated to the Prince de Viane, the son of Gaston IV de Foix, in fact is made up of several works, the first of which (La forme quon tenoit des tournoys et assemblees au temps du roy Uterpendragon et du roy Artur) was written after 1452 but no later than 1475 to serve as an introduction to King René d'Anjou's Livre des tournois. The work may have been written by the great bibliophile, Jacques d'Armagnac (ca. 1433-1477), the Duke of Nemours, whose great library was confiscated by Louis XI after his execution for treason. According to legend, first recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Historia Regum Britanniae, Uther Pendragon was the king of Britain and father of King Arthur. The compendium also includes Les noms armes et blasons des chevaliers et compagnons de la table ronde, with fictive coats of arms (a popular genre in the fifteenth century) of 150 knights of the Round Table, all of which are illustrated. In addition to the full-page dedication image, exhibited here, in which a knight with spurs presents the book to his lord, the book contains a dozen additional watercolor drawings of various pieces armor such as the helmets that line the shelves in the background of the dedication image.