Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16
(Der Naturen Bloeme)


Produced: Flanders, ca. 1350
Current Location: Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Hague, Netherlands
Manuscript Type: Encyclopedia
Language: Middle Dutch
Folios: 164
Author: Jacob van Maerlant
Illustrated: Yes
Scribe: Single
Binding: 16th-century brown leather, gilt
Media: Vellum
Script: Littera textualis
Dimensions: Height: 27.8 cm Width: 20.8 cm
Folio 39v-40r


Der Naturen Bloeme of Jacob van Maerlant (folios 38r-163r). The descriptions and images include a vast array of beasts, especially fish, that do not appear in most other works; many cannot be identified. These include oddities such as a fish with arms, and marine varieties of land animals (sea cow, sea stag, sea dog, sea horse, etc.). There is also a long series of illustrations of the monstrous human races said to live in the east. There are in all over 400 beasts. The text and illustrations are for the most part very similar to those in Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, 76 E 4.

This is the manuscript copy designated V.

There are several chapters found in other copies of the Der Naturen Bloeme missing between folio 62v and folio 63r. The chapters jump from the lincisius on 62v to the locust on 63r, with the leucrota, leontophone, lacta, hare (lepus) and otter (luter) chapters missing. The illustration of the ostrich has been cut out of folio 100r, with a loss of text on folio 100v. The first part of Book 4 (Marine monsters) is missing; the text jumps from line 8377 at the bottom of folio 102v to line 8498 at the top of folio 103r, part way into the crocodile chapter. The missing animals (and illustrations) are abides, mullet, belna, sea-turtle and crocodile (first few lines).

455 column miniatures, 34 schematic drawings, decorated initials with border decoration, penwork initials with pen-flourishes throughout.

Also contains a calendar (folios 1r-6v), two astronomical texts (folios 7r-28r), and astrological tables (folios 28r-37r).

Since 1937 on permanent loan from the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences), Amsterdam. Shelfmark sometimes recorded as Akad. XVI.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description

Editions and Facsimiles

Digital facsimiles

Koninklijke Bibliotheek
Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Low quality)
Library of Congress