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Detailed record for Harley 5716

Author Jacob ben Asher
Title Arbaah Turim (The Four Pillars)
Origin Italy, N. E. (Ferrara?)
Date 1475
Language Hebrew
Script Sephardi semi-cursive script, unpunctuated
Scribe Hayyim Barbut, see colophon in vol. 2.
Artists Florentine artists
Decoration 2 decorated initial-words accompanied with a full floral border inhabited by birds, puttos and decorated with medallions containing figures and a coat of arms, in colours and gold (ff. 8, 151). Numerous initial-word panels decorated with penwork and pen-flourishing, in red and blue ink. Vertical bands with penwork decoration (ff. 8v-17v, 151v-158). 1 manicula (f. 100).
Dimensions in mm 350 x 265
Official foliation ff. 270 (+ 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the beginning and at the end)
Collation 27 quires: i6 (ff. 1-6), ii-xiv10 (ff. 7-136), xv14 (ff. 137-150), xvi-xxvii10 (ff. 151-270).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Hayyim Barbut, scribe: inscribed with his name in the colophon, (Harley 5717, f. 265v).
Joab Emmanuel Finzi (da Arezzo?), patron: inscribed with his name in the colophon (Harley 5717, f. 265v).
[5]235, that is, 1475: date of production added by a later hand, probably by Samson Cohen Modon (Harley 5717, f. 265v).
Luigi da Bologna, a converted Jew working for the Inquisition as censor (active at the end of the sixteenth, beginning of seventeenth century): inscribed with his name as censor, 1598 (f. 269); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), p. 104, and appendix § 112-117.
Frater Giovanni Montifal. di Modena, censor: inscribed with his name, undated (f. 269); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), appendix § 88.
Hippolite of Ferrara, Franciscan censor (active at the end of the 16th century-beginning of 17th century, in Cremona?): inscribed with his name, 1603 (f. 269); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), appendix § 18-19, 93.
Giovanni Domenico Vistorini, censor: inscribed with his name, 1610 (f. 269); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), appendix § 85-87.
Samson Cohen Modon, the young, owner: inscribed with his name in an ownership's note, he bought the codex for 3 dukats on 25 Nisan [5]457 [1697] (f. 7).
Italian inscription of the content and the date of the codex, undated (f. 1).
Edward Harley: bought by him through Nathaniel Noel (b. 1681, d. 1753), bookseller for £20 1s (price of the two volumes, 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 In two volumes: Harley 5716 (vol. 1) and Harley 5717 (vol. 2). Charts connected to the calendar (ff. 100, 100v). Censors’ erasures (e. g., ff. 194v, 195, 195v, 196v, 197).
For the colophon, see volume 2 (Harley 5717). Both Margoliouth and the catalogue of the JNUL date it to 1475 accepting the later addition to the colophon.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5716-17.

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. 544.

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.

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.

Bezalel Narkiss, 'Three Jewish Art Patrons in Mediaeval Italy', in Festschrift Reuben R. Hecht (Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd., 1984), pp. 296-307 (pp. 306-7).

Ilana Tahan, Hebrew Manuscripts: The Power of Script and Image (London, British Library, 2007), p. 116.

Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (London: British Library, 2007), p. 94 [exhibition catalogue].

Illumination: Hebrew Treasures from the Vatican and Major British Collections (London: Jewish Museum, 2010), no. 10, pp. 24-25 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Rabbits

f. 8
Rabbits
Coat of arms

f. 8
Coat of arms
Detail

f. 8
Detail
 
Coat of arms

f. 8
Coat of arms
Frontispiece to ~Orah Hayyim~

f. 8
Frontispiece to Orah Hayyim
Frontispiece to ~Yoreh Deah~

f. 151
Frontispiece to Yoreh Deah
 
Coat of arms

f. 151
Coat of arms
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 151
Decorated initial-word panel
Panther

f. 151
Panther
 
Inhabited border

f. 151
Inhabited border

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