Book of Hunting OF Gaston III

Date: XIV Century.
Originl kept:
The State Hermitage Museum, Ms. OP N.º 2.
330 x 230 mm.
Miniatures: 78 miniatures of large format and all pages with border designs
of floral motifs and multiple capitals in gold.
Binding: Lamb leather with embossed and engraved gold also on the edges.


Between 1270 and 1287, Guido della Colonne, Italian lawyer, historian and poet, wrote a Latin version in prose of 35 chapt

Hunting was the sport for aristocrats reaching a high degree of sophistication; it was practise in times of peace and always associated to religious themes. Alfonso X the Wise (1256-1348) wrote, “How the king has to be well versed at hunting”.

Gaston III, nick named Febus because of his golden hair, sovereign of the County of Foix and of Beam, in the French Pyrenees, bequeath to posterity one of the best treatise on the subject of hunting.

During the years 1387-1389 Gaston Febus wrote his “Book of Hunting” allegory, profane and religious at the same time. This manuscript is considered one of the best written during the Medieval time and it is also a valuable testimony of the cultural heritage of the Middle Age; it has been used until the XIX century as a teaching book of Natural History.

Of all the most famous manuscripts about Hunting produced in the Scriptoriums of the time, because its antiquity and beauty the one kept at the Library of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg is considered the best.

This codex develops in a pedagogic form everything to do with learning to hunt, it indicates how to treat wild animals, their behaviour and biology, at the same time it gives precise instructions to the hunter for training the different breeds of dogs and their characteristics, all represented in beautiful miniatures.

The 78 beautifully enriched miniatures embellish the pages of this codex; its refined style gives an expressivity to the French style of the first half of the XIV century.

The miniatures give an inimitable realism to the art of hunting and its rituals: the horses richly harness with the embroidered coat of arms of its owner, the type of clothing, the preparation of the hunters and the animals and the type prey to hunt.

All the manuscript images are enriched in gold and silver. These combination of light and colour enhances each of the miniatures of this codex making it an art treasure.

The facsimile edition of the Book of Hunting of Gaston Febus is encased for its conservation together with a complementary study book.
Our facsimile consists of a single edition of 949 numbered copies, duly authenticated by
notarial deed.


Description                 The Manuscript    


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