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Detailed record for Harley 2798

Title Bible ('The Arnstein Bible') (Genesis to Malachi), imperfect, the first of two volumes
Origin Germany, W. (Arnstein)
Date c. 1172
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Scribe Lunandus, a monk of Arnstein
Decoration Large historiated initials in colours with standing figures, foliage and hybrid creatures (ff. 102v, 210). Large initials in red and sometimes also black on coloured grounds usually of blue, yellow, and green with foliate decoration and sometimes intertwined creatures (ff. 2, 24, 40, 51, 67v, 81, 81v, 90v, 100v, 101v, 116, 126v, 139, 150v, 151, 168, 169, 190v, 193, 194, 211, 218v (x3), 221, 221v, 222, 222v, 224v (x2), 225 (x2), 225v (x2), 227, 227v, 228, 228v, 229, 229v, 230, 231, 234 (x2)). Large initial in colours with foliate decoration, clasps, and figures in a rectangular border (f. 5). Zoomorphic initial in red, green, and blue of a bird (f. 230v). Large unfinished drawing in pencil and ink of a seated man writing (f. 4v). Small initials in red, some with penwork decoration.
Dimensions in mm 550 x 370 (390 x 245) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 236 ( + 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Former Harleian covers of brown leather with gold tooling affixed to the inside covers.
Provenance The Premonstratentian abbey of St Mary and St Nicholas, Arnstein: inscription 'Liber sancte marie sanctique Nycolai in Arrinstein . . .' (f. 235v), written by Lunandus (whose name is recorded in annals, once part of the manuscript but now Darmstadt, Hessisches Landes- und Hochschlbibl., MS 4128), with the date 1172; reference to it in a late 12th-century book list of the abbey in Harley 3045 'Sunt etiam alia duo vetus et novum testamentum continentia et insuper tripartitum psalterium et annalia'.
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 (see Wright 1972): sold to Harley on 16 January 1720/21.
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 ‘16 January 1720/21' (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 historical annals which were once part of the Arnstein Bible were copied from the Floreffe Bible (Additional 17738).
The second volume of this Bible is Harley 2799.
Decorated quire signatures.
Select bibliography Selected bibliography for both Harley 2798 and 2799:

A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), nos 2798 and 2799.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 5.

A. Kohl, 'Arnsteiner Handschriften im Britischen Museum zu London', Nassovia. Zeitschrift für nassauische Geschichte und Heimatkunde, 4 (1903), 106-108,120-121,133-134 (p.107).

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Methuen, 1911), pp. 154-55.

[Eric G. Millar], British Museum Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series 4 (London: British Museum, 1928), pl. 12.

R. Schilling, 'Studien zur deutschen Goldschmiedekunst des 12. und 13. Jahrhunderts' in Form und Inhalt: Kunstgeschichtliche Studien Otto Schmitt zum 60. Geburstag (Stuttgart, 1951), pp. 73-88.

Jacques Stiennon, ‘Du lectionnaire de Saint-Trond aux Evangiles d’Averbode: Contribution a l’etude de la miniature mosane du XIIe siecle’, Scriptorium: Revue internationale des études relative aux manuscrits, 7 (1953), 37-50 (pp. 45 n. 4, 48, 50).

Jacques Stiennon, ‘La miniature dans le diocese de Liège aux XIe et XIIe siècles’, in L’art Mosan, Bibliothèque Générale de L’École Pratique des Hautes Études, 6 (Paris: Armand Colin, 1953), 90-101 (pp. 98-100).

André Grabar and Carl Nordenfalk, Romanesque Painting from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Century, trans. by Stuart Gilbert (Lausanne: SKIRA, 1958), pp. 143, 195.

D. H. Turner, Romanesque Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Library (London: British Museum, 1966), pls IV, 9.

F. Masai, ‘Les manuscrits a peintures de Sambre et Meuse aux XI et XII siecles: Pour une critique plus methodique’, Cahiers de civilisation medievale, 3 (1960), 187ff.

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, pp. xlix, 81 n. 6.

C. R. Dodwell, Painting in Europe: 800 to 1200 (London : Penguin Books, 1971), p. 163.

Rhein und Maas: Kunst und Kultur 800-1400 (Cologne: Rudolf Müller, 1972), no. J48 [exhibition catalogue].

Herbert Köllner, ‘Ein Annalenfragment und die Datierung der Arnsteiner Bibel in London’ Scriptorium: Revue internationale des études relative aux manuscrits 26 (1972), 34-50.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 254.

Die Zeit der Staufer (Stuttgart: Wu¨rttembergisches Landesmuseum, 1977), pp. 533-35, no. 716 [exhibition catalogue].

J. J. G. Alexander, The Decorated Letter (London: Braziller, 1978), p. 91, pl. 26.

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. 704.

Walter Cahn, Romanesque Bible Illumination (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1982), pp. 26, 230, 253 no. 8, pls 157, 162 [with additional bibliography].

François Avril, 'Les arts de la couleur', in François Avril, Xavier Barral I Altet, and Danielle Gaborit-Chopin, Le Monde Roman 1060-1200, 2 vols (Paris: Gallimard, 1983), I Le Temps des Croisades, pp. 131-225 (p. 207, pl. 194).

Bonifatius Fischer, Lateinische Bibelhandschriften im frühen Mittelalter, Vetus Latina, 11 (Freiburg: Herder, 1985), p. 56.

Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, A Medieval Scriptorium: Sancta Maria Magdalena de Frankendal, Wolfenbütteler Mittelalter-Studien, 3, 2 vols (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1990), I, 105.

Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, 'The Twelfth-Century Scriptorium at Frankenthal', in Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence, ed. by Linda l. Brownrigg, Proceedings of the Second Conference of The Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, July 1988 (Los Altos Hills, California: Anderson-Lovelace, 1990), pp. 85-101 (pp. 97, 101 n. 37).

Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 39, fig. 58.

Peter Lasko, Ars Sacra 800-1200, 2nd edn (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 229.

Walter Cahn, Romanesque Manuscripts: The Twelfth Century (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), II, 179.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), no. 41.

Alixe Bovey, Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), pp. 12, 15, pl. 9.

Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (London: British Library, 2007), no. 82.


Images
* * *
 
Inhabited initial

f. 2
Inhabited initial


f. 4v
Decorated initial

f. 5
Decorated initial
 
Zoomorphic initial

f. 40
Zoomorphic initial
Decorated initial

f. 67v
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 90v
Decorated initial
 
Historiated initial

f. 102v
Historiated initial
Inhabited initial

f. 116
Inhabited initial
Inhabited initial

f. 126v
Inhabited initial
 
Decorated initial

f. 139
Decorated initial
Zoomorphic initial

f. 151
Zoomorphic initial
Daniel

f. 210
Daniel
 
Zoomorphic initial

f. 211
Zoomorphic initial
Ownership inscription

f. 235v
Ownership inscription

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