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Detailed record for Harley 5698

Author Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, aka the Rambam)
Title Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1
Origin Portugal (Lisbon)
Date 1471-1472
Language Hebrew
Script Sephardi square script, unpunctuated (except a passage on f. 139)
Scribe Solomon ben Alzuq
Decoration 1 title page surrounded by penwork decoration and a floriated full border in colours and gold (f. 2). 8 embellished frontispieces at the beginning of the books with initial-word panels with gold letters and penwork decoration and surrounded by full-borders with foliate motifs, inhabited by birds and animals (ff. 11v, 12, 13v, 31v, 63v, 106v, 197v, 252v). A drawing of a fish in the margin (f. 156).
Dimensions in mm 330 x 245 (205-150)
Official foliation ff. 301 (+ 3 modern paper flyleaves and 1 older paper flyleaf at the beginning and at the end), one unfoliated leaf [f. 251*] after f. 251
Collation 37 quires: i10 (ff. 1-10), ii8 (ff. 11-18), iii8 (ff. 19-26), iv8 (ff. 27-34), v8 (ff. 35-42), vi8 (ff. 43-50), vii8 (ff. 51-58), viii8 (ff. 59-66), ix8 (ff. 67-74), x8 (ff. 75-82), xi8 (ff. 83-90), xii8 (ff. 91-98), xiii8 (ff. 99-107), xiv8 (ff. 108-114), xv8 (ff. 115-122), xvi8 (ff. 123-130), xvii8 (ff. 131-138), xviii8 (ff. 139-146), xix8 (ff. 147-154), xx8 (ff. 155-162), xxi8 (ff. 163-170), xxii8 (ff. 171-178), xxiii8 (ff. 179-186), xiv10 (ff. 187-196), xxv8 (ff. 197-204), xxvi8 (ff. 205-212), xxvii8 (ff. 213-220), xxviii8 (ff. 221-228), xxix8 (ff. 229-236), xxx8 (ff. 237-244), xxxi8 (ff. 245-251), xxxii8 (ff. 252-259), xxxiii8 (ff. 260-267), xxxiv8 (ff. 268-275), xxxv8 (ff. 276-283), xxxvi8 (ff. 284-291), xxxvii10 (ff. 292-301).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Fra Giro[lamo] de Durazzano de Predi[?]: censor's signature and note 1640 (f. 1). Erasures (e.g. ff. 58v-59, 96r-v, 272v). (Narkiss reads the name Durallano), on him see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), appendix § 89.
Two illegible Hebrew notes (f. 1).
Bernard Mould (b. c. 1683; d. 1744), chaplain at Smyrna: inscribed with his name, Smyrna, 1724 (f. 301); sold to Edward Harley on 28 July 1725 (see Wright and Wright 1966; Wright 1972).
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.

See also the second volume of the work: Harley 5699.
Notes The Lisbon Mishneh Torah has two volumes, Harley 5698 and Harley 5699.
Hair-side and flesh-side are distinguishable.
Fore edge, lower and upper edges are colored with red strips.
From f. 32 parallel Hebrew foliation starting with no. 22. The older paper flyleaves of the binding have watermarks similar to Edward Heawood, Watermarks (Monumenta Chartae Papyraceae Historiam Illustrantia, I) (Hilversum: Paper Publication Society, 1950), no. 2745 [London, 1755].
Erasures by a censor (e.g. on ff. 38, 54v, 55, 264v, 266, 272v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts, in the British Museum, III, (London, 1808), no. 5698-9.

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), II, no. 486.

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. 370 n. 1.

Bezalel Narkiss, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (New York: Macmillan 1969), p. 78.

Gabrielle Sed-Rajna, Manuscrits hebreux de Lisbonne (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scentifique, 1970), pp. 20-23.

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. 246, 459.

Bezalel Narkiss, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Isles: a Catalogue Raisonne. The Spanish and Portuguese Manuscripts, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), I, no. 41; II, figs 394-403.

Evelyn M. Cohen, 'The Decoration of Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts', in A Sign and a Witness: 2,000 Years of Hebrew Books and Illuminated Manuscripts, ed. By Leonard Singer Gold (New York: New York Public Library, 1988), p. 57.

Lisbon Bible: 1482. British Library Or. 2626, introduction by Gabrielle Sed-Rajna (Tel Aviv: Nahar Miskal, 1988), pp. 12-13 [facsimile edition].

Ilana Tahan, Hebrew Manuscripts: The Power of Script and Image (London, British Library, 2007), pp. 112-13.

Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (London: British Library, 2007), p. 95 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 11v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
Inhabited border

f. 11v
Inhabited border
Introduction of the Mishneh Torah

ff. 11v-12
Introduction of the Mishneh Torah
 
Inhabited border

f. 11v
Inhabited border
Introduction of the Mishneh Torah

f. 12
Introduction of the Mishneh Torah
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 13v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
 
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 13v
Decorated initial-word panel
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 31v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 63v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
 
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 106v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 197v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
Decorated initial-word panel with full border

f. 252v
Decorated initial-word panel with full border
 

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