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Detailed record for Harley 2631

Author Various authors including Marcus Tullius Cicero, Leonardus Brunus Aretinus
Title Various texts including De Senectute, Paradoxa stoicorum, Invectiva ad hypocritas, Somnium Scipionis, De amicitia
Origin Italy, N. (Vicenza?)
Date 1427 and 1430
Language Latin
Script Semi-humanistic
Scribe Albertus Fiocardus of Vicenza
Decoration 6 large initials in blue or red with pen-flourishing in the other colour including foliate decoration, a face (ff. 1, 16v, 24, 30v, 51, 67v). Large initial in red containing blue penwork with reserved designs, surrounded by dark red or blue penwork decoration (ff. 30, 61). Smaller initials in red.
Dimensions in mm 195 x 130 (135 x 95)
Official foliation ff. 91 (+ 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment and paper codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Written by Albertus Fiocardus between 1427 and 1430: inscribed with several colophons (ff. 16, 23v, 29v, 71v, 90v).
Added texts in 15th-century hands in Latin and Italian (ff. 90v-91v).
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 the Harleys on 20 January 1721/22 (see Wright 1972).
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 Catchwords written horizontally.
The outer bifolio of each quire is in parchment.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2631.

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

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

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 682.

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 164.


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Decorated initial

f. 61
Decorated initial

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