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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
France, Paris, between 1550 and 1558
M.538 fol. 1v

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Escutcheon decorated with Gouffier heraldry (or, three bars gemels sable), surrounded by collar of the Order of Archangel Michael, decorated with scallop shells and pendant of Michael transfixing dragon on which he stands. (Angel, Archangel Michael: transfixing Dragon) All is flanked and held by two griffins. Escutcheon is surmounted by crown decorated with gems and pearls (?), in turn surmounted by helmet crowned by wreath (gules, argent and sable) with a plume of ostrich feathers of the same, crested by head of griffin.
Below, framed tablet flanked by two half-figures of armless winged female figures, either with horns, or wearing crowns decorated with horns, winged head at bottom. Tablet inscribed MESSIRE CLAVDE GOVFFIER CH(EVA)L(IE)R DE LORDRE CONTE DE CARVARTZ ET DE MAVLEVRIER SEIGNEVR DE BOYSI ET GRAND ESCVYER DE FRANCE.
All within camaïeu frame decorated with gorgon head (Pagan Type: Medusa), garlands, lion heads or masks, two half-figures of caryatids atop base decorated with heads or masks with support decorated with foliate ornament and entwined with scroll inscribed HAERET TERMINVS HIC at left and HIC TERMINVS HAERET at right. At bottom is medallion enclosing monogram (overlaid Phi and Chi) behind which are two crossed halberds, emblem of Gouffier. All flanked by two bunches of vegetables and fruit, including varieties of squash and grapes.

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