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La chronique anonyme universelle jusque'à la mort de Charles VII
Two sheets of the Chronique universelle, a popular but unpublished work originally compiled between 1409 and 1415 and preserved in 29 known 15th-cent. copies. Creator unknown.
In its original complete form, this chronique would have told the history of the world from Creation to the 15th cent., including the stories of the Bible, the Trojans, King Lear, and King Arthur, among many others. All known copies conclude with Pope Urban VI, the coronation of Emperor Louis IV in 1328, and the coronation of the English King Henry IV in 1399. The French section is usually expanded to reach the scribe's present day.
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.5 linear ft. : 2 sheets of a scroll : parchment, illustrations, some water stains and tearing at edges ; 1245 x 560 mm
[col. 1. "Begins imperfectly] ...du saint esperit et mourut a pyse et la fut mis en espulture etc. ... Explicit. Cy ne parle plus des papes pour la division qui a este puis en saincte eglise que diet veulle admender etc. ; [col. 2.] Apres ces choses les romains qui par devant sestoyoent parties par signe damour et de obedience de constantin ... pour cause de ses ennemis qui lempescherent a puis mourut lan de grace ix[superscript c)iiii ans etc. ; [col. 3.] Apres le roy Robert regna henry son fils et commenca lan mil xxxi et ot a femme anne la fille george lesclavon .... et charles le conte de vallois et laultre femme fut marie qui fut fille au duc... [ends imperfectly] ; [col. 4. Begins imperfectly] ...niques et la prindrent par force et apres ce tancret conquest la terre de tarce solice mais le frer godefory de billon luy tollit ... apres a tressi il cheut de dessus son cheval et se tua si... [ends imperfectly ; col. 5.] Cy parle du roy Richard dangleterre que le duc dosteriche tint en prinson par moult longtemps etc. Apres hanry regna Richard fort home ... il se mist au retour mais le duc...[ends imperfectly]."
col. 1. Chronicle of Popes: begins in the middle of the reign of Innocent III (1190-1216) and ends during the reign of Urban VI (1378-1389), inserting Pope Julius I after Innocent III and skipping Pope Adrian V ; geneological diagram in margin corresponds with the text ; col. 2. Chronicle of Holy Roman Emperors: goes from Charlemagne (r. 800-814) to Louis III (r. 901-905), skipping Louis II, Guy III, Lambert II, and Arnulf ; genealogical diagram corresponds with the text ; Emperor Louis III is followed by a blank medallion by error ; col. 3. Chronicle of French Kings: covers from Henry I (r. 1031-1060) to Philip III (r. 1270-1285), skipping Philip I ; detailed genealogical diagram goes as far as Charles IV (r. 1322-1328) ; with detailed genealogical diagram ; col. 4. Chronicle of the Crusades: describes the kings of Jerusalem from Godfrey de Bouillon's siege of Nicaea in 1097 through the conquest of Jerusalem and his coronation in 1099 and the reigns of kings Baldwin I and Baldwin II; scroll then expands to 5 col. continuing with the reign of King Fulk (r. 1131-1143) in the narrow 4th col.; genealogical tree begins with crusaders Baldwin de Bouillon and show the succession from Godfrey through Baldwin IV (r. 1174-1185); col. 5. Chronicle of the Kings of England: King Richard I (r. 1189-1199), Henry II and his son Edmond.
Layout: Written in 4 or 5 columns (85 mm. wide), approximately 100 lines per sheet, ruled in brown (423 mm.), genealogical medallions throughout in red ink (35 mm. diam., drawn with a compass) connected by red lines. Script: Written in French bastarda. Second sheet is labeled in pencil "no 14" by a modern hand and "no. 15" by a slightly earlier hand, suggesting the interim loss of one earlier sheet of the scroll. Decoration: Three medallion miniatures with cusped borders (73 mm. diam.) showing Charlemagne enthroned as Holy Roman Emperor, Godfrey de Bouillon enthroned as King of Jerusalem, and St. Louis onboard ship; three-line-high initials throughout in gold leaf on blue background filled with dark salmon (or vice versa) with white geometric tracery; one-line paragraph markers throughout in same scheme. Sheets attached by paste with 20 mm. overlap, no spindles. Origin: Written and illuminated in Paris around the year 1461 in the same workshop that produced copies of the Chronique currently preserved at the University of Leeds (MS Brotherton 100), the British Museum (MS add. 27539), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF, MS nouv. acq. fr. 1493 and 1495), and Princeton University Art Museum (MS 5). Possibly part of the same scroll as the sheet preserved at the Centre Jean d'Arc in Orleáns (MS 35). Closely related to the Leeds scroll, perhaps copied from it. Possibly the exemplar for the copy at the Boston Public Library (MS Pb. Med. 32).
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