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Detailed record for Harley 2561

Part 1 ff. 1-189v; ff. 207v-297v 
Author Various authors including Augustine
Title Various texts including several moral treatises on virtues and vices, Augustine's Epistolae, Sermons, etc.
Origin Italy
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, Humanistic and Humanistic cursive
Decoration Large initial in colours with foliate decoration on a gold panel (f. 6). 3 large initials in gold (ff. 63, 176, 179). 2 large initials in blue or gold with pen-flourishing in pink/red (ff. 74, 84). Coloured initials in red or blue, some with penwork decoration in the other colour. Spaces for initials left blank.
Dimensions in mm 210 x 150 (135-150 x 75-100)
Part 2 ff. 190-207v 
Author Pseudo-Cicero
Title Synonyma ad Lucium Veturium
Origin Italy, Central (Appignano)
Date 1467
Language Latin
Script Humanistic cursive
Decoration Large gold initial with pen-flourishing in dark red (f. 190).
Dimensions in mm 210 x 150 (150 x 90) in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. i* + ii + 297 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 1 unfoliated ruled leaf after f. 43 + 1 unfoliated leaf after ff. 62, 73 + 5 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end;)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1973.
Provenance Partly written by 'Geor.' in 1467 in Appignano, Marche (part 2 only): inscribed colophon 'Sinonoma [sic] Ciceronis foeliciter finiunt per me Geor. .p. anno dominj 1467 15 Madij In apuniano' (f. 207v).
Gianfrancesco Coccapani da Carpi (fl. c. 1570): inscribed 'Jo. Francisi Cochapani & Amicorum eius' (f. ii).
Charles Spencer (b. 1674, d. 1722), 3rd earl of Sunderland from 1702, politician and bibliophile, developed the library at Althorp, one of Edward Harley's rivals in the acquisition of early printed books and manuscripts: inscribed 'SUND' (f. 1) by Humfrey Wanley (b. 1672, d. 1726), librarian of Robert and Edward Harley, this may indicate that the manuscript was part of a group of bought by Robert Harley in August 1719 from Spencer.
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 partly visible (f. [62a]).
ff. i* and ii are paper leaves (there is no f. i). ff. 1 and 297 are parchment leaves.
Written in many different hands.
Contains the funeral orations for Leonardo Aretino (b. c. 1369, d. 1444) (ff. 241-242v) and Guarino da Verona (b. c. 1374, d. 1460).
For a more detailed list of contents, see Catalogue 1808.
For Gianfrancesco Coccapani da Carpi, see Girolamo Tiraboschi, Biblioteca modenese o Notizie della vita e delle opere degli scrittori natii degli stati del ... duca di Modena , 6 vols (Modena: Societa` tipografica, 1781-1786), II, p. 48.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2561.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. xliii.

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. 111, 310.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (p. 477).

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 669.

Katherine Swift, 'Poggio's Quintilian and the fate of the Sunderland manuscripts', Quaerendo, 13 (1983), 224-38 (pp. 228-29).

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 161-62.

Censimento dei codici dell’epistolario di Leonardo Bruni, ed. by Lucia Gualdo Rosa, 2 Vols (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo, 1993), I, pp. 146-147, pl. 77.


Part  1   ff. 1-189v; ff. 207v-297v
Various authors including Augustine Various texts including several moral treatises on virtues and vices, Augustine's Epistolae, Sermons, etc.
* * *
Decorated initial

f. 6
Decorated initial
Illuminated initial

f. 190
Illuminated initial

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