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Detailed record for Harley 7621

Author Solomon ben Isaac ('Rashi'), David Kimhi
Title Pentateuch with Rashi's commentary and Targum Onkelos (ff. 1-310v); Haftarot with commentary (ff. 311-399v); Five Scrolls (Hamesh megillot, ff. 400-439)
Origin Italy, N. E. (Ferrara?)
Date 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Hebrew, Aramaic
Script Italian semi-cursive script, partially punctuated
Scribe Samuel
Artists Florentine artists
Decoration 1 historiated initial-word panel, in colours and gold (f. 1). 4 decorated initial-word panels inhabited by birds, in colours and gold (ff. 76v, 142v, 191, 254v). 2 decorated initial-word panels, in colours and gold (ff. 149, 198v). Many decorated initial-word panels, in colours. Numerous carmina figurata.
Dimensions in mm 220/225 x 170 (105 x 55, with commentary varies)
Official foliation ff. 439 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end); 1 paper leaf added after f. [iii] foliated as f. 1*
Collation 44 quires: i10 (ff. 1-10), ii10 (ff. 11-20), iii10 (ff. 21-30), iv10 (ff. 31-40), v10 (ff. 41-50), vi10 (ff. 51-60), vii10 (ff. 61-70), viii10 (ff. 71-80), ix10 (ff. 81-90), x10 (ff. 91-100), xi10 (ff. 101-110), xii10 (ff. 111-120), xiii10 (ff. 121-130), xiv10 (ff. 131-140), xv10 (ff. 141-150), xvi10 (ff. 151-160), xvii10 (ff. 161-170), xviii10 (ff. 171-180), xix10 (ff. 181-190), xx10 (ff. 191-200), xxi10 (ff. 201-210), xxii10 (ff. 211-220), xxiii10 (ff. 221-230), xxiv10 (ff. 231-240), xxv10 (ff. 241-250), xxvi10 (ff. 251-260), xxvii10 (ff. 261-270), xxviii10 (ff. 271-280), xxix10 (ff. 281-290), xxx10 (ff. 291-300), xxxi10 (ff. 301-310), xxxii10 (ff. 311-320), xxxiii10 (ff. 321-330), xxxiv10 (ff. 331-340), xxxv10 (ff. 341-350), xxxvi10 (ff. 351-360), xxxvii10 (ff. 361-370), xxxviii10 (ff. 371-380), xxxix10 (ff. 381-390), xl10 (ff. 391-400), xli10 (ff. 401-410), xlii10 (ff. 411-420), xliii10 (ff. 421-430), xliv10-1 (ff. 431-439). Catchwords.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Pre-1600. Dark brown, tooled, with remains of clasps.
Provenance Samuel, the scribe: inscribed with his name (f. 190).
Joab Emmanuel Finzi (da Arezzo?): his coat of arms ? (f. 76v); it is identical with the coat of arms represented in Harley 5716-5717, the patron of which was Joab Emmanuel. Thus the codex most probably was ordered by the same patron, Joab Emmanuel.
Domenico Irosolimitano (fl. last quarter of the 16th century-first quarter of the 17th century), censor: inscribed with his name, 1598 (f. 439v); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), appendix § 62-74.)
Giovanni Domenico Carretto, Italian censor (active in the first quarter of the 17th century): inscribed with his name (f. 439v); see William Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1969), pp. 100-101, and appendix § 80-84.
Contents of manuscript in English (f. 1*).
Edward Harley: bought by him through Nathaniel Noel (b. 1681, d. 1753), 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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 7621.

Aaron Freimann, 'Jewish Scribes in Medieval Italy', in Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1950), pp. 231-342 (no. 411a).

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. 234.

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. 230 n. 2.

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) pp. 72-73.

Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (London: British Library, 2007), p. 43 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Genesis

f. 1
Genesis
Adam and Eve

f. 1
Adam and Eve
Coat of arms

f. 76
Coat of arms
 
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 76v
Decorated initial-word panel
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 142v
Decorated initial-word panel
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 154v
Decorated initial-word panel
 
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 191
Decorated initial-word panel
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 191
Decorated initial-word panel
Decorated initial-word panel

f. 254v
Decorated initial-word panel
 

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