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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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England, Oxford, 1230-1240
MS M.913r

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Six oval medallions enclosing:
1) Magi: Journey -- Three Magi, crowned, gesture to right.
2) Herod the Great: asking Birthplace of Christ -- Two scribes hold scroll inscribed PUER NATVS IN BET(H)LE(H)EM beside Herod, crowned, left hand raised. All are seated on bench.
3-4) Magi: Adoration -- In left medallion, two of three Magi, crowned, stand. One holds covered vessel, another holds coins in garment, and the third kneels, extending ring (?) toward right medallion and Christ Child, cross-nimbed, hands extended, seated on lap of Virgin Mary, veiled and crowned, seated on throne with footstool.
5) Innocents: Massacre -- Herod the Great, crowned, seated on bench, gesturing, looks toward three male figures wearing short tunics. One hooded, with sword is beheading child and female figure, wearing berbette, is holding body of the infant; heads of two infants are on ground.
6) Christ: Flight into Egypt -- Virgin Mary, nimbed and veiled, holding swaddled Christ Child, cross-nimbed, is seated sidesaddle on ass, led by Joseph the Carpenter, wearing cap, holding rein (?) in right hand and over left shoulder, ax with cloth draped over handle.
Among the six medallions, enclosed in smaller medallions and half medallions are birds and animals, including heron (?), cock, eagle with fish in claws, squirrel, lion and fantastic animal.
Enclosed in medallions on corners of frame and in two half medallions on center of uprights are prophets, Hosea, Habakkuk, Daniel, Balaam, Jeremiah and Isaiah, all nimbed, and each holding scroll with name inscribed, OSEE P(RO)PH(ET)A, ABACVC, DANIEL, BALAAM, IEREMIAH, YASIAH.

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