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Detailed record for Harley 2421

Author Boethius, translated by Geoffrey Chaucer
Title The Consolation of Philosophy
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language English and Latin (only rubrics)
Script Gothic cursive and Gothic
Decoration Large puzzle initial in blue and red with pen-flourishing in the same colours including foliate motifs (f. 1). Large puzzle initial in blue and red (f. 22). Smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing (ff. 25, 27, 39v, 48v, 85v, 125). Coloured initials in red or blue. Capitals marked in red. Some ascenders extending into the margin. Rubrics are written in a Gothic book hand in brown ink.
Dimensions in mm 185 x 130 (125 x 70)
Official foliation ff. 1*-2* + 154 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Remains of the previous binding (gold-tooled on brown leather spine) pasted on the inside of the upper cover. Rebound in 1973.
Provenance 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 ff. 1* and 2* is a parchment bifolio. ff. 154 and [155] are parchment folios with a later inscription. ff. 1* and [155] are former pastedowns.
Leaf signatures. Quire signatures (numbers on the recto of the first leaf of the quire). Catchwords written horizontally.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2421.


Images
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Puzzle initial

f. 1
Puzzle initial

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