Saturday, January 18, 2014

Illuminated Manuscripts - Creatures

Hibernating hedgehogs  Bestiary, England 13th century (British Library, Royal 12 F XIII, fol. 45r)


The belief was that the hedgehog rolls on apples or grapes to make the fruit stick to its spines, so it can carry the food back to its young. The bestiary writers allegorized this as a warning of the clever stratagems of the devil in stealing man's spiritual fruits.  Pliny the Elder 1C CE (Natural History, Book 8, 56): To prepare for winter, hedgehogs roll on fallen apples to stick them to their spines, then taking one or more in their mouths, carry the load to hollow trees. Hedgehogs foretell a change in wind direction from north to south when they retire to their lairs. When hunted, they roll up into a ball so that it is not possible to pick them up without touching their spines.

 Bodleian Library, MS. Bodley 764, Folio 52v ((gathering grapes on their quills)

Isidore of Seville [7C CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 3:7): The hedgehog is covered with quills, which it stiffens when threatened, and rolling itself into a ball is thus protected on all sides. After it cuts a bunch of grapes off a vine it rolls over them so it can carry the grapes to its young on its quills.

 Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 151, Folio 30r (going for the apples)

 Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 308, Folio 98v (with grapes or apples on quills)

  Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 247, Folio 147v (gathering grapes)

 British Library, Harley MS 4751, Folio 31v

 British Library, Royal MS 2 B. vii, Folio 97v (with grapes on quills)

 Huntington Library, HM 27523, Folio 228r

 J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig XV 3, Folio 79v (gathering grapes) Hedgehog in the vineyard. Flanders Beastiary c 1270

 Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4º, Folio 29v

  Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 3466 8º, Folio 45v (gathering grapes on quills)

 Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 57r

 Morgan Library, MS M.81, Folio 10v (with and without grapes on quills)

Museum Meermanno, MMW, 10 B 25, Folio 25r

Hedgehog stealing apples, c 1320 (Cambridge).

Hedgehog with something stuck on his quills  Bibliothèque nationale de France NAF 13521, 24v