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Detailed record for Harley 2445

Title Prayer book, imperfect
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 14th century or 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin, French (a few rubrics ff. 29, 52r-v)
Script Gothic
Decoration Numerous initials in gold and colours (including a bright orange) with foliate decoration including daisy buds and besants extending into the margins to form partial borders. Numerous smaller initials in gold with purple pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing. Line-fillers in blue and gold with pen-flourishing in purple and/or red.
Dimensions in mm 130 x 85 (80 x 50)
Official foliation ff. 140 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves and 4 unfoliated parchment leaves at the beginning + 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end, a parchment flyleaf is pasted on the recto of f. [141])
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather on boards with gold fillets.
Provenance Added prayers including prayers to the Virgin (ff. 80v-94), some rubrics and other prayers (ff. 134v-140v) in English, the Hours of the Cross, a prayer to Thomas of Canterbury, etc. with coloured initials in red, in several late-14th-early-15th century hands (ff. 25-28v, 66-67v, 70v-140v).
Added prayer, 16th-century (f. 23).
Marginal annotations, ?18th century.
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 Including numerous indulgenced prayers.
Catchwords, leaf signatures.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2445.

Jeanne Elizabeth Krochalis, ‘Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God: Two Newly Identified Pennsylvania Manuscripts’, The Library Chronicle, 42, 1 (1977), 3-22 (p. 7, 9).

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Decorated initial

f. 8v
Decorated initial

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