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Detailed record for Harley 5773

Title Pentateuch (the 'London Catalan Pentateuch') (ff. 1v-171v), Haftarot (ff. 172-225), and Five Scrolls (Hamesh megillot; ff. 225-246) with masorah magna and parva
Origin Spain, N. E. (Catalonia)
Date Last quarter of the 14th century
Language Hebrew
Script Sephardi square script, punctuated
Decoration Numerous micrographical designs. Numerous decorated parashah signs, in ink. Pen drawing of a castle (f. 1).
Dimensions in mm 220 x 170 (140 x 120)
Official foliation ff. 248 (+ 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves and 2 foliated older paper flyleaves [ff. 1* and 2*] at the beginning and 2 unfoliated older flyleaves and 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation 32 quires: i-xv8 (ff. 1-120), xvi10+2 (ff. 121-132), xvii10 (ff. 133-142), xviii-xx10 (ff. 143-162), xxi-xxiii6 (ff. 163-172), xxivnine (ff. 179-187), xxv10-2 (ff. 188-195), xxvi8 (ff. 196-203), xxvii-xxxi8 (ff. 204-243), xxxiifive (ff. 244-248).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of black buckram.
Provenance Italian inscription stating that this is the first volume of a three-volume Bible and that it was written in 'Castion' 'in mese Elul in anno 5105 e la scrittura di Ezra figlio di Jacob Adorat' (these data correspond with the colophon in Harley 5775), 1678 (f. 2* verso).
John Covel (b. 1638, d. 1722), chaplain to the Levant Company at Constantinople: in his collection (no. VIII.): inscribed (f. 1*). His manuscripts were acquired for the Harley Collection for £300 in 1716; Latin inscription: de accurate Bibliorum Hebrais. .. (18th c.?) (f. 1*).
Edward Harley: bought by him together with Covel's other manuscripts, for £300 on 27 Feb. 1715/6 (Diary 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 Watermark, ff. 1*, [249], [250], of a fleur-de-lis in a crowned coat of arms and with the monogram 'WR', similar to Edward Heawood, Watermarks (Monumenta Chartae Papyraceae Historiam Illustrantia, I) (Hilversum: Paper Publication Society, 1950), no. 1784 (1683, sine loco).
2 unfoliated blank leaves after f. 171.
Ruling and sometimes pricking are visible.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5773-75.

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. 76.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, pp. xxxiv-xxxvi; II: 1723-1726, p. 211 n. 1.

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. 113-17, 254, 461.

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. 25; II, figs 352-60.

Katrin Kogman-Appel, Jewish Book Art Between Islam and Christianity: the Decoration of Hebrew Bibles in Medieval Spain (Lieden: Brill, 2004), p. 170.

Ilana Tahan, Hebrew Manuscripts: The Power of Script and Image (London, British Library, 2007) p. 131.


Images
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Micrography

f. 5v
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f. 8
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f. 11
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f. 16v
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f. 18v
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f. 31v
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Micrography

f. 42v
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f. 48
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f. 50
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Micrography

f. 56
Micrography

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