Jean Corbechon, Livre des propriétés des choses

Book 15: On the regions and countries of the world and Book 16: On stones and metals

Texts and Images

A Master is shown lecturing outdoors with a city in the distance in the introductory miniature for Book 15, on regions and countries. After explaining that the earth is divided into three parts — Asia, Africa and Europe — the author provides copious amounts of information on specific places, much of it derived from classical geographers and St Isidore of Seville. The book contains 75 chapters.

The following book, Book 16, is devoted to stones and metals. Descriptions of various types of metals, including gold and silver, are included in the 103 chapters, followed by descriptions of various types of precious stones. Many gems were believed to have medicinal properties, as mentioned by the author. The descriptions of the stones are in alphabetical order, the traditional way information was presented in lapidaries (medieval books on the properties and virtues of stones). The leaf with the introductory miniature is missing.

A camel is shown at the base of the hill, across the bay from a city or fortress with lofty towers. There is a loss of pigment in the upper right where the miniature has sustained damage.