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Detailed record for Harley 2768

Author Aulus Gellius
Title Noctes atticae
Origin Italy, Central (Rome)
Date 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Scribe ? Antonio Tophio
Artists Perhaps Andrea di Firenze
Decoration White vine initials in colours and gold combined with a three-sided white vine border with a wreath enclosing the arms of Ludovicus Petronius at the beginning of the text (f. 1). Large white vine initial at the beginning of all subsequent books, except book 3 (ff. 22, 60v, 73v, 87, 98, 115, 129, 147v, 160, 175v, 199, 213v, 229v, 243v, 263v, 274v, 285v). Initials in gold on a blue, green and/or dark red panel (blue, green and pink on f. 1v). Rubrics in purple or pink.
Dimensions in mm 285 x 200 (190 x 105)
Official foliation ff. 297 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves and 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the beginning + 1 unfoliated ruled leaf (with leaf signature) after f. 23) + 2 unfoliated leaves and 1 paper flyleaf at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather by Thomas Elliot (signed 'ELLT' on the spine); marbled endpapers.
Provenance Lodovico Petroni of Siena, humanist, senator of Rome from 1451: his arms (f. 1).
Added annotations throughout including some in Greek (e.g. f. 2), 15th century.
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Edward Harley on 13 September 1722 (Diary 1966; 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 ‘13 die mensis Septembris A.D. 1722’ (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 Many books are preceded by a capitula list (ff. 59v-60v, 72v-73v, 86-87, 96v-97v, 114-115, 127-128v, 146v-147v, etc.).
The numbering of the books given in the rubrics is partly incorrect (book 7 comes before book 6) and only chapters 1-2 of book 8 are included with no specific rubric (f. 114).
f. [299] is a former pastedown.
ff. [22a]-23 are blank and ruled: no text is missing, book 2, chapter 3 ends on f. 22v, but the last lines are repeated at the top of f. 23v (space left for a capitula list?).
Rubrics in italics (ff. 62v-67v only).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2768.

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. 143 n. 11.

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. 162, 274-75.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (p. 465-66).

Albinia de la Mare, 'New Research on Humanistic Scribes in Florence', in Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1440-1525: un primo censimento, ed. by Annarosa Garzelli, 2 vols, ([Florence]: Giunta regionale toscana, 1985), I, pp. 395-574 (p. 439 n. 141).


Images
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White vine initial and border

f. 1
White vine initial and border

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