A beautiful title page from a surprising find.
My post today is more casual and off-the-cuff than usual. Simply put, I was having one of those survey days where everything is more complicated than it seems like it should be. Certain oversized folders weren't quite where I expected them to be, mischievous elves had misnumbered or mislabeled other items, and my catalog records were starting to swim together. When would this enormous survey project EVER end?? Would things EVER be clear cut and straightforward again? Argh!
Then I came upon a French illustrated genealogy from 1635. Its thick, strong cloth paper, careful hand-written script and intricate, pigment-dyed paintings of family coats of arms (or crests) all attest to its 375 long years of existence. Most of these items are found in the rare books collection, but this one is part of manuscripts and thus on my list to survey today.
I am not of French extraction, nor do I have any other particular connection to this item (although it would be terrific if my family history book was this ornate), I was just happy to see it today. Not only is it exceptionally old (especially for a repository located in California, which only became a state in 1850), it is colorful. A true relic of another time and place. Enjoy!
(All images are photos of Banc MSS 71/166: Pierre d' Hozier genealogie de L'Illustre Maison Des Ursins, Paris, 1635)
The cover is probably from the 19th century. Yes, it is dusty. Don't worry- we'll have it cleaned and wrapped.
Above: the first page, (most likely) bears holding up the family crest.
Right: Two examples of coats of arms within branches of the Ursins family.