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Detailed record for Harley 5128

Title Dictionary of Canon Law
Origin Italy, N. (or Austria)
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 2 large initials in pink, green, and blue with floral and foliate motifs (ff. 1, 53v). 1 large historiated initial in colours (f. 65v). 15 large initials in red, some with simple floral or geometric motifs (ff. 202, 221v, 226v, 232v, 261 (x 2), 272, 291, 300, 313, 359, 361, 379v, 410v, 422). The initials occur at the beginning of each section of the dictionary: A, B, C, etc., but the initial 'D' on f. 138v has been cut out. Smaller plain initials in red. 1 plain intial in blue (f. 1). Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 220 x 145 (160 x 95)
Official foliation ff. 438 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance The Franciscan monastery of Sancta Maria Annunciata, Varese (near Lake Como): ownership inscription (f. 430v), bookstamp with letters SMAV (ff. 1 and 438v) (initials standing for Sancta Maria Annunciata Varisii, according to Watson 1973).
Conyers Middleton (b. 1683, d. 1750), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1706, head librarian of the University Library at Cambridge (1721-50); sold to Edward Harley on 25 February 1724/25 (Wright 1972; Diary 1966).
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 ‘25 die mensis Februarij, A.D. 1724/25’ (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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5128.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 343 n. 3.

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. 239, 335.

Andrew G. Watson, Review of Cyril Ernest Wright Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts... , in Journal of the Society of Archivists, 4 (1973), 603-609 (p. 608).

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. 471).


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Decorated Initial

f. 1
Decorated Initial

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