The hand-painted manuscript was written in French in the mid-thirteenth century by a Franciscan friar who had the tale imparted from one of the knights returning to France before dying of extreme old age. Among other things, it told of a marker buried with one of the knights, and a painting of the Holy Grail which answered the question of whether the Grail actually glowed.
By 1938, Walter Donovan had acquired the manuscript and kept it in his Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City. Donovan kept the manuscript in a lighted alcove and showed it to Indiana Jones when he recruited Jones to help him in the search to recover the Holy Grail and find the lost expedition leader, Jones' father. Colorized photostats of some of the manuscript's pages were given to Jones for translation, and Jones kept them in his journal.
Behind the scenes
The manuscript prop, known as Illuminated manuscript in Donovan's library measures 28 x 21 x 5 cm.
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