You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Harley 5531

Author Joseph ben Judah Zark (Zarko, Zarka)
Title Baal ha-Lashon (The Master of the Language)
Origin Italy
Date 1474
Language Hebrew
Script Italian semi-cursive and Ashkenazi square script, partially punctuated
Artists Joel ben Simeon's circle ?, see Weinstein, 1991, p. 9.
Decoration Numerous initial-word panels with pen-flourishing sometimes with masks, in violet ink (ff. 5v-18v). 2 initial-word panels formed as a castle (ff. 8v, 17v). Crown over an initial word, in violet ink (f. 18v). Marginal drawings, in violet and light brown ink (ff. 6v, 7, 17v).
Dimensions in mm 190 x 130 (120/115 x 75/70)
Official foliation ff. 286 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end), f. 1 is a paper flyleaf
Collation 30 quires: i8 (ff. 2-3), ii10 (ff. 4-13), iii10 (ff. 14-23), iv10 (ff. 24-33), .v10 (ff. 34-43), vi10 (ff. 44-53), vii10 (ff. 54-63), viii10 (ff. 64-73), ix10 (ff. 74-83), x10 (ff. 84-93), xi10 (ff. 94-103), xii10 (ff. 104-113), xiii10 (ff. 114-123), xiv10 (ff. 124-133), xv10 (ff. 134-143), xvi10 (ff. 144-153), xvii10 (ff. 154-163), xviii10 (ff. 164-173), xix10 (ff. 174-183), xx10 (ff. 184-193), xxi10 (ff. 194-203), xxii10 (ff. 204-213), xxiii10 (ff. 214-223), xxiv10 (ff. 224-233), xxv10 (ff. 234-243), xxvi10 (ff. 244-253), xxvii10 (ff. 254-263), xxviii10 (ff. 264-273), xxix10 (ff. 274-283), xxx6 (ff. 284-[289]) Catchwords.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Red leather, tooled.
Provenance Colophon, [5]234 [1474] (f. 286v).
Emblem probably of the family, Modigliani of Rome (see, Cecil Roth, 1967, pp.178-179).
Inscription in Latin about the content of the codex: ‘Dictionarium Herbaicum Joseph figlii.. .. ' (18th century) (f. 2).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent: purchased by Edward Harley from him, date of purchase inscribed: '18 die January A. D. 1723/24' (f. 2);
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.
Inscription in English: ‘This Book called Baal Lashon i.e. Master of Language is an Hebrew Dictionary composed by R. Joseph Zark in the year 5208 × 1448 in Italy it is divided into 3 parts first words composed of two letters 2nd by words composed of 3 letters 3 by letters composed of four or more letters. Never printed. Same book with 5502. (BM note) (f. [ii]v).
Inscription in English: ‘Those two names of the authors’ Benefactors, which had been erased in the manuscript, are here restored in the margin from codex 5502. pag. 2.' (BM note); the mentioned names are added in Hebrew in the outer margin: Mordechai and Rabbi Isaac, Abraham, Solomom, Pinzi (f. 6).
Notes 3 unfoliated blank leaves at the end ff. [287]-[289]. Six unfoliated blank leaves after f. 2. Quires are numbered with Hebrew characters starting with alef on f. 13v until f. 163v. Flesh side and hair side are distinguishable. Ruling is visible.
Select bibliography George Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1899-1935; vols I-III repr. 1965); IV, Introduction, Indexes, ed. by Jacob Leveen (London: British Museum, 1977), III, no. 977.

Cecil Roth, "Stemmi di famiglie ebraiche italiane", in Scritti in memoria di Leone Carpi. Saggi sull'ebraismo italiano, ed. by Alexander Rofe (Jerusalem: Fondazione Sally Mayer, 1967), pp. 165-84 (pp.178-179) [on the family emblem].

Myron M. Weinstein, 'Introduction', in The Washington Haggadah: A Facsimile Edition of an Illuminated Fifteenth-Century Hebrew Manuscript at the Library of Congress Signed by Joel ben Simeon, ed. by M. M. Weinstein (Washington: Library of Congress, 1991), p. 22.


Images
* * *
 
Initial-word panel

f. 6v
Initial-word panel
Initial-word panel

f. 6v
Initial-word panel
Castle

f. 8v
Castle
 
Pen drawings

f. 17v
Pen drawings
Pen drawings

f. 17v
Pen drawings

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back