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Detailed record for Harley 3487

Author Aristotle
Title Libri Naturales, with extensive glosses
Origin England, Central (Oxford?)
Date 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written below top line
Artists Attributed to the Glazier Bible group
Decoration 29 historiated initials in colours and gold, with animated extensions or partial bar borders, and pen-flourishing in gold, red, and blue (ff. 4, 4v, 10, 16v, 22v, 34, 39v, 47v, 52, 65v, 103v, 116, 121v, 140v, 145, 152, 161, 173, 180, 191, 197, 200, 202, 202v, 208, 211v, 214v, 216, 224). Initials in red with pen-flourishing in red, and blue. Running headers in blue, and red and sometimes gold, with penwork decoration, some in the form of heads. Paraphs in blue. Rubrics in while, red, or blue. Marginal diagrams in red, brown, and blue, with green and blue, and sometimes yellow washes (ff. 69, 69v, 70v, 76v, 90, 90v, 92v). Marginal drawing of an animal, in colours (f. 142v). Sketches for the illuminator (ff. 34, 52, 103v, 116, 140v, 152, 161, 173, 180, 191, 197, 200, 202v, 202, 208, 211v, 214v, 216, 224).
Dimensions in mm 370 x 245 (175 x 105) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 235 + iiii ( + 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Black leather with blind tooling.
Provenance Added 15th-century list of contents (f. 1v) and notes, 13th-14th century (ff. 2r, 3v).

Nicholas of Cusa [Nicholaus von Kues, or Nicholas Cusanus] (1401 – August 11, 1464), cardinal and theologian; given by him with other books from his library to St Nicholas hospital, founded by him in Cues in 1451: ownership inscription of St Nicholas hospital 'Liber hospitalis sancti Nocolai prope cusam' (f. 235v).

Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681-c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the continent, where his agent was George Suttie: acquired from him for the Harley collection.

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 with the date of acquisition by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘18 die Januarii, A. D. 1723/4' (f. i).

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 According to Nigel Morgan, the most extensively decorated of the surviving university books (see Cambridge Illuminations 2005).
f. i and 1-3 are a parchment leaves.
Catchwords.
ff. ii-iii are parchment leaves after f. 235.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3487.

Eric. G. Millar, English Illuminated Manuscripts from the Xth to the XIIIth Century (Paris: Van Oest, 1926), p. 128.

Paul Lehmann, Mitteilungen aus Handschriften, 2, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Abteilung, 2 (Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften,1930), pp. 3-55 (p. 24).

George Lacombe, Aristoteles Latinus (Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 1939), no. 302.

Loren MacKinney and Thomas Herndon, Medical Illustrations in Medieval Manuscripts, Wellcome Historical Medical Library, New Series, 5 (London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1965), no. 86.44.

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. xxxix-xl.

R. Haubst, 'Cod. Harl. 3487', Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, 12 (1977), 21-36.

Michael Camille, 'Illustrations in Harley MS 3487 and the Perception of Aristotle's Libri Naturales in Thirteenth-Century England', in England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1984 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. by W.M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1985), pp. 31-44.

Nigel Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts, 2 vols, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 4 (London Harvey Miller, 1982-1988), II: 1250-1285, no. 145.

Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 68, 185, figs 108-09.

Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (London: Reaktion, 1992), pp. 22-23, pl. 7.

Charles Burnett, The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England, The Panizzi Lectures, 1996 (London: British Library, 1997), n. 205, pl. 1.

Sophie Page, Astrology in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), p. 37, pl. 27.

C. M. Kauffmann, Biblical Imagery in Medieval England 700-1500 (London: Harvey Miller, 2003), p. 312 n. 74.

Kathryn A. Smith, Art, Identity and Devotion in Fourteenth-Century England: Three Women and their Books of Hours, (London: British Library, 2003), p. 277.

The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, ed. by Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), pp. 371, 373

M. A. Michael, 'Urban production of manuscript books and the role of the university towns', in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (Cambridge: University Press, 1999- ), II: 1100-1400, ed. by Nigel Morgan and Rodney M. Thomson (2008), pp. 168-94 (p. 179 n. 69).


Images
* * *
 
Book burning

f. 4
Book burning
Man

f. 10
Man
Crowned woman

f. 16v
Crowned woman
 
Historiated initial

f. 16v
Historiated initial
Crowned woman

f. 16v
Crowned woman
Man reading

f. 22v
Man reading
 
Wrestlers

f. 34
Wrestlers
Seated man

f. 39v
Seated man
Historiated initial

f. 47v
Historiated initial
 
God holding the world

f. 52
God holding the world
Christ

f. 65v
Christ
Diagrams

f. 69
Diagrams
 
Moses

f. 103v
Moses
Teaching

f. 116
Teaching
Couple

f. 121v
Couple
 
Couple

f. 121v
Couple
Man

f. 140v
Man
Historiated initial

f. 140v
Historiated initial
 
Dog

f. 142v
Dog
Historiated initial

f. 152
Historiated initial
Windmill

f. 161
Windmill
 
Windmill

f. 161
Windmill
Soul being weighed

f. 173
Soul being weighed
The Last Trumpet

f. 180
The Last Trumpet
 
Christ blessing

f. 191
Christ blessing
Seated man

f. 197
Seated man
Corpse

f. 200
Corpse
 
Historiated initial

f. 200
Historiated initial
Historiated initial

f. 202
Historiated initial
Christ

f. 202
Christ
 
Christ

f. 202
Christ
Man in bed

f. 202v
Man in bed
Sleep

f. 208
Sleep
 
Woman

f. 211v
Woman
Porter

f. 214v
Porter
Trumpter

f. 216
Trumpter
 
Workers

f. 224
Workers

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