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Detailed record for Harley 5711

Title Bible with masorah magna and parva
Origin Italy, C. (Rome?) or Italy, N. (Bologna)
Date Last quarter of the 13th century
Language Hebrew, Aramaic
Script Ashkenazi square and semi-cursive script, main text is punctuated, masorah is unpunctuated
Decoration 30 initial-word panels with penwork decoration, foliate motif and accompanied by borders, in colours, gold and silver (ff. 1, 31, 70, 103, 107v, 109, 112v, 113, 114, 116v, 117v, 118v, 120, 121, 126v, 130, 174, 186, 195v, 202, 208, 222, 241v, 258v, 260v, 263, 268, 270v, 276, 286v). Numerous initial-word panels decorated with pen-flourishing, in red and blue ink.
Dimensions in mm 390 x 265 (225 x 150)
Official foliation ff. 302 (+ 2 unfoliated paper and 2 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 2 unfoliated parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation 30 quires: i-xii10 (ff. 1-120), xiii10 (ff. 121-129a), xiv-xvi10 (ff. 130-159), xvii14 (ff. 160-173), xviii-xxix10 (ff. 174-293), xxx10-1 (ff. 294-302).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding. Light brown leather.
Provenance Samuel ben Mattatiah: inscribed with his name as a witness of the same purchase, 1240 (f. 302v).
4 lists of Hebrew books: a list of books belonging to Jehiel of Arsignano; a list of medical books left behind by Samuel ha-Rofe of Arsignano; list of scientific books left by the same Samuel; list of books of unknown owner (f. 302).
Leon ben Benjamin: sold to Abraham ben Zedekiah, for 50 golden florins, in 1240: inscribed with their names in a contract of sale (f. 302v).
Domenico Irosolomitano, Italian censor (active in the last quarter of the 16th and first quarter of the 17th century): inscribed with his name, undated (f. 301v) ; see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), p. 61, and appendix § 62-74.
Edward Harley: bought by him through Nathaniel Noel (b. 1681, d. 1753) for £31 10s (price of both volumes), bookseller (see Wright and Wright 1966; Wright 1972); inscription by Harley's librarian, Humfrey Wanley, 18 January 1723/4 (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 Bible in two volumes: Harley 5710 (vol. 1) and Harley 5711 (vol. 2).
Ruling is visible.
Since the style of the illumination points to the end of the 13th century as date of production, the date in the purchase note on f. 302v is probably erroneous, and instead of 5000 AM, that is, 1240 CE, it should be 5100 AM, that is, 1340 CE.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5710-11.

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), I, no. 54.

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. 227 n. 6.

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. 254, 461.

Bezalel Narkiss, Kitvei yad ivriyim metzuyarim (Jerusalem: Keter, 1984), p. 57.

Mendel Metzger, 'Two Centuries (13th-14th) of Hebrew Manuscript Ilumination in Italy', in Die Juden in ihrer Mittelalterlichen Umwelt eds. by Alfred Ebenbauer and Klaus Zatloukal (Vienna: Böhnlau Verlag, 1991), pp. 131-50 (p. 132).

The´re`se and Mendel Metzger, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages: Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts of the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Centuries (New York: Alpine Fine Arts Collection, 1982), p. 304.

Luisa Mortara-Ottolenghi, 'Scribes, Patrons and Artists of Italian Illuminated Manuscripts in Hebrew' Jewish Art, 19 (1993/1994), 86-97 (pp. 87-88).

Ilana Tahan, Hebrew Manuscripts: The Power of Script and Image (London, British Library, 2007), p. 31.

Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (London: British Library, 2007), p. 149 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Isaiah

f. 1
Isaiah
Hybrid and ox

f. 1
Hybrid and ox
Jeremiah

f. 31
Jeremiah
 
Ezekiel

f. 70
Ezekiel
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 70
Decorated initial-word panel
Hoshea

f. 103
Hoshea
 
Amos

f. 109
Amos
Jonah

f. 113
Jonah
Michah

f. 114
Michah
 
Hybrid and man

f. 114
Hybrid and man
Nahum

f. 116v
Nahum
Detail of a page: decorated initial-word panel ~Masa~ ...

f. 116v
Detail of a page: decorated initial-word panel Masa ...
 
Habakkuk

f. 117v
Habakkuk
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids

f. 117v
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids
Haggai

f. 120
Haggai
 
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids

f. 120
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids
Zechariah

f. 121
Zechariah
Malachi

f. 126v
Malachi
 
Decorated initial-word panel and a dragon

f. 126v
Decorated initial-word panel and a dragon
Chronicles

f. 130
Chronicles
Psalms

f. 174
Psalms
 
Job

f. 222
Job
Decorated initial-word panel and a fish

f. 222
Decorated initial-word panel and a fish
Proverbs

f. 241v
Proverbs
 
Ecclesiastes

f. 260
Ecclesiastes
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 260
Decorated initial-word panel
Lamentations

f. 268
Lamentations
 
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 268
Decorated initial-word panel
Esther

f. 270v
Esther
Daniel

f. 276
Daniel
 
Ox

f. 276
Ox
Ezra-Nehemiah

f. 286v
Ezra-Nehemiah
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids

f. 286v
Decorated initial-word panel and hybrids
 

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