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Detailed record for Additional 15423

Title Pentateuch (the 'Duke of Sussex's Italian Pentateuch')
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 1441-1467
Language Hebrew
Script Italian semi-cursive script, punctuated
Scribe Isaac ben Obadiah ben David of Forli (Gaio di Servadio), active in Florence 1441-c. 1470
Decoration 5 decorated initial-word panels in colours and gold accompanied by partial foliate borders at the beginnings of the books (ff. 1, 35v, 65v, 87, 117). 48 decorated initial-word panels with pen-flourishing inhabited by animals, masks, human figures, floral motifs in violet and red ink, at the beginning of the parashiyot (ff. 4, 7, 10, 13v, 15v, 18, 21, 24v, 27, 30v, 38v, 41v, 44v, 47v, 49v, 52, 54, 57, 60, 63, 68v, 70v, 73, 74v, 77, 79, 80v, 83v, 84v, 90v, 94v, 97v, 100v, 103, 105, 107v, 111v, 114, 119v, 123, 126v, 129v, 132v, 135v, 138v, 139v, 140v, 142v). 1 coat of arms included into the border erased and overpainted decorated with foliate scroll (f. 1).
Dimensions in mm 330 x 225 (200 x 125)
Official foliation ff. 143 (+ 2 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 2 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the end)
Collation 15 quires: i10 (ff. 1-10), ii10 (ff. 11-20), iii10 (ff. 21-30), iv10 (ff. 31-40), v10 (ff. 41-50), vi10 (ff. 51-60), vii10 (ff. 61-70), viii10 (ff. 71-80), ix10 (ff. 81-90), x10 (ff. 91-100), xi10 (ff. 101-110), xii10 (ff. 111-120), xiii10 (ff. 121-130), xiv10 (ff. 131-140), xv4-1 (ff. 141-143). Catchwords in the middle of lower margin.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Black leather, tooled, with the arms and motto of Theodore Williams on the upper and lower covers.
Provenance The Reverand Theodore Williams of Hendon, c. 1824: his motto 'Deus alit me' (God sustains me) above his armorial shield of a fess, 3 crescents, 3 birds, and a bird on top of the shield (upper cover), and the monogram 'T.W.' and the motto (lower cover).
Prince Augustus Frederick (b. 1773, d. 1843), duke of Sussex: his bookplate (f. [i]); his sale, 18 January 18, 1844, lot 365; purchased by Thorpe.
Thomas Thorpe, bookseller: purchased by him for 25 4s: annotated sale catalogue in the History and Classics Department.
Purchased by the British Museum through Thomas Rodd the younger (b. 1796, d. 1849), bookseller: inscribed 'purchased of Thos. Rodd, 18 January 1845': (f. [144v]); one of six Hebrew manuscripts acquired from the Duke of Sussex.
Notes Ruling is visible. Flesh side and hair side are distinguishable. Quires start with flesh side. On the dating, see Pasternak, 2009.
Select bibliography George Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1899-1935; vols I-III repr. 1965); IV, Introduction, Indexes, ed. by Jacob Leveen (London: British Museum, 1977), I, no. 86.

Ilana Tahan, Hebrew Manuscripts: The Power of Script and Image (London, British Library, 2007), pp. 34-35.

Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (London: British Library, 2007), p. 114 [exhibition catalogue].

Nurit Pasternak, Together and Apart: Hebrew Manuscripts as Testimonies to Encounters of Jews and Christians in Fifteenth-century Florence : the Makings, the Clients, Censorship [Hebrew] (Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Senate of the Hebrew University, 2009), p. 255.


Images
* * *
 
Initial-word panel and foliate border

f. 1
Initial-word panel and foliate border
Coat of arms

f. 1
Coat of arms
Lion

f. 15v
Lion
 
Lion

f. 15v
Lion
Deer

f. 30v
Deer
Deer

f. 30v
Deer
 
Initial-word panel and foliate border

f. 35v
Initial-word panel and foliate border
Rabbit

f. 41v
Rabbit
Rabbit

f. 41v
Rabbit
 
Initial-word panel and foliate border

f. 65v
Initial-word panel and foliate border
Initial-word panel and foliate border

f. 87
Initial-word panel and foliate border
Initial and foliate border

f. 117
Initial and foliate border
 
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 140v
Decorated initial-word panel
Rabbit

f. 140v
Rabbit

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