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Detailed record for Harley 2472

Author Virgil
Title Aeneis ; Collection of texts relating to Roman history, including the Letter of Lentulus (ff. 37v-38)
Origin Italy, N. E. (?Veneto)
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Historiated initial in gold and colours with flowers, besants, foliate decoration including acanthus leaves extending into the margins on 3 sides (f. 1). 23 large initials in gold and colours with acanthus extending into the margin (ff. 1, 11v, 12, 23 (x2), 33 (x2), 43, 43v, 55v, 56, 68v, 69, 80, 80v, 90v, 91, 102v (x2), 115v (x2), 128, 128v (was cut out and re-placed)).
Dimensions in mm 285 x 205 (190 x 105)
Official foliation ff. 141 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Bruno (?Leonardo Bruni, b. 1369, d. 1444): ownership inscription (f. 141v).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie; sold to Edward Harley on 20 January 1721/2 (see Diary 1966).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘20 die Januarij, A.D. 1721/22 (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes The text may have been written by an English scribe trained in a humanist culture in Italy (McKendrick, in Jones, Craddock, Barker, 1990).
Catchwords written horizontally.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2472.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 138 n. 8.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 85, 253-54.

R. D. Williams, T. S. Pattie, Virgil. His Poetry through the Ages (London: The British Library, 1982), p. 131.

Fake? The Art of Deception, ed. by Mark Jones, Paul Craddock, and Nicolas Barker (London: British Museum, 1990), no. 62 [exhibition catalogue].


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Historiated initial

f. 1
Historiated initial

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