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Detailed record for Harley 4920

Author Marcus Tullius Cicero
Title Epistolae
Origin France, S. (Toulouse or Avignon?)
Date c. 1450, before 1464
Language Latin
Script Semi-humanistic
Decoration Full border in colours and gold with a coat of arms, supported by two angels, and an historiated initial in colours and gold with a man at a lecturn (f. 1). Partial border with rinceaux decoration, a quadripartite square in colours and gold with foliate motifs, and an intial in colours and gold (f. 9). Initials in colours and gold with foliate motifs and rinceaux extensions (ff. 25, 33v, 44, 53v, 63, 71v, 81v, 95v, 104, 115, 136, 144v). Large initial in red with blue and red penwork decoration (f. 132). Alternating blue initials with red penwork decoration and red initials with blue penwork decoration. Marginal sketches added in brown ink (ff. 29v, 31v, 44, 46, 47, 48v). Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 290 x 220 (185 x 135)
Official foliation ff. I + 151 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; rebound in 1967.
Provenance Pierre de Foix (b. 1386, d. 1464), studied in Toulouse; entered the Franciscan Order at the convent of Morlaas; was made a cardinal in 1414; founded the Collège Foix in Toulouse: his arms and name, 'petrus de fuxo' (f. 1).
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.
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 f. i is a paper flyleaf.
This manuscript was previously paginated (pp. 299).
Horizontal catchwords.
Watermark (e.g., f. 21 of a tulip, 'Fleur en forme de tulipe', similar to C. M. Briquet, Les Filigranes: Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dès leur apparition vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600, A Facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material, ed. by Allan Stevenson, 4 vols (Amsterdam: Paper Publications Society, 1968), no. 6654 (used in Rome 1452-53).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4920.

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. 158.

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. 182.


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