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Detailed record for Harley 5717

Author Jacob ben Asher and Maimonides (ha-Rambam)
Title Even ha-Ezer (The Stone of Help) and Hoshen Mishpat (The Breastplate of Judgement) of Arbaah Turim (The Four Pillars) (ff. 2-261v); Hilkhot De'ot of the Mishneh Torah (ff. 261v-265v)
Origin Italy, N. E. (Ferrara?)
Date 1475
Language Hebrew
Script Sephardi semi-cursive script, unpunctuated
Scribe Hayyim Barbut
Artists Florentine artists
Decoration 2 decorated initial-word panels 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. 2, 79). Decorated initial word panel, in colours and gold (f. 5v). Miniature, in colours and gold (f. 5v). Numerous initial-word panels decorated with penwork and pen-flourishing, in red and blue ink. Vertical bands with penwork decoration (ff. 2v-5v, 80-87v).
Dimensions in mm 370 x 260 (240 x 170)
Official foliation ff. 266 (+ 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the beginning and at the end); f. 1 is a parchment flyleaf
Collation 27 quires: i-vii10 (ff. 2-71), viii-ix8 (ff. 72-87), x12 (ff. 88-99), xi8 (ff. 100-107), xii12 (ff. 108-119), xiii8 (ff. 120-127), xiv12 (ff. 128-139), xv8 (ff. 140-147), xvi12 (ff. 148-159), xvii8 (ff. 160-167), xviii12 (ff. 168-179), xix-xx8 (ff. 180-195), xxi12 (ff. 196-207), xxii8 (ff. 208-215), xxiii12 (ff. 216-227), xxiv8 (ff. 228-235), xxv12 (ff. 236-247), xxvi8 (ff. 248-255), xxviieleven (ff. 256-266).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Hayyim Barbut, scribe: inscribed with his name in the colophon, (f. 265v).
Joab Emmanuel Finzi (da Arezzo?), patron: inscribed with his name in the colophon (f. 265v).
[5]235, that is, 1475: date of production added by a later hand, probably by Samson Cohen Modon (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 younger, owner: inscribed with his name in an ownership's note, for date see vol. 1 (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 and Harley 5717. Hair side and flesh side are distinguishable. Censors’ erasures (e. g., ff. 14, 94v, 171, 216v, 243, 252v). 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. 545.

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. 117.


Images
* * *
 
Frontispiece to ~Even ha-Ezer~

f. 2
Frontispiece to Even ha-Ezer
Coat of arms

f. 2
Coat of arms
Inhabited border

f. 2
Inhabited border
 
Adam and Eve

f. 5v
Adam and Eve
Frontispiece to ~Hoshen ha-Mishpat~

f. 79
Frontispiece to Hoshen ha-Mishpat
Frontispiece to ~Hoshen ha-Mishpat~

f. 79
Frontispiece to Hoshen ha-Mishpat
 
Frontispiece to ~Hoshen ha-Mishpat~

f. 79
Frontispiece to Hoshen ha-Mishpat
Frontispiece to ~Hoshen ha-Mishpat~

f. 79
Frontispiece to Hoshen ha-Mishpat

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