Sketchbook and commonplace book compiled over two decades (approximately 1620-1640) by the French architect-builder Hieraume Peyre. The manuscript is in ink and color [14.9 x 19.3 cm], (187) ff., with some leaves showing an earlier pagination that might indicate the loss of some leaves, but with no clear interruption of continuity in the text, copiously illustrated (265 of 375 pages carry some form of illustration, and 161 of these are full-page). Bound in early tinted vellum. The manuscript provides information on both the practical and theoretical concerns of early-modern engineers and architectural practitioners: Peyre made numerous drawings of carpentry designs for vaults and towers he worked on, brickwork and ashlar masonry patterns, ornamental motifs for stonework, designs for stone intarsia floors, balusters, coffered ceilings, among others. He also engaging closely with printed architectural treatises, for example, with a French translation of the Spaniard Diego de Sagredo's (c. 1480-1528) Medidas del Romano, from which Peyre copied several woodcuts illustrating the classical orders, classical proportions, masonry profiles, and more.
In addition to his illustrations of architectural matter, Peyre includes recipes for "cold' cement, hydraulic "ciment chaud" for work on fountains, varnish, "false marble," oil paints, gilding, plasters, and adhesives, and provides designs for lathes used in turning. Extensive sections on horology and surveying are practical, with Peyre's attention to vertically mounted mural sundials reflecting his specialty as a builder of the towers where such timekeeping devices were placed.
Peyre also provides riddles, poetry, prayers (one in Italian), illustrations of various inventions (for example, relating to wells, the manufacture of wheat, Jacob's staff, among others), botanical and entomological specimens, heraldic illustrations, and numerous drawings of sacred and secular figures (including Pope Paul V, and François de Paule, the founder of the Order of Minims), labyrinths, cityscapes, religious iconography, armor, grotesques, and both real and mythical beasts. He mentions events dated with the years 1620, 1623, 1624, 1630, 1634, 1636, and 1637 and occasionally provides personal details from his life, including a note on the birth of a son, Jehan, on 16 December 1630, and the infant's untimely death two months later.