You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 2882

Title Prayer book, including verse (imperfect)
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Frame drawn in red and green (f. 47v; probably originally intended for a coloured drawing facing the beginning of the prayer to Mary Magdalen). Large initials in green and/or red with penwork decoration in both colours (ff. 36v, 38v, 39, 44, 45v, 46v, 52, 54v, 57, 57v, 58, 59). Puzzle initial in green and red with penwork decoration in the same colours (f. 59v). Large initial in gold with penwork decoration in red and green (f. 48) and smaller initials in the same colours. Coloured initials in alternating green or red. Display script in green or red. Spaces for initials left blank.
Dimensions in mm 125 x 80 (105 x 60)
Official foliation ff. 64 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1975. Remains of the previous binding (gold- and blind-tooled dark brown sprinkled leather) pasted on the inside covers.
Provenance Made for the use of Benedictine nuns near Durham?: prayers to Benedict (ff. 44-45v), Cuthbert (f. 46v), and numerous female saints.
Added prayers and hymn with musical notation, in different medieval hands (ff. 31v-35).
Added prayers to the Cross and Christ in several 12th-century hands (ff. 61-64v).
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 Written in many different 12th-century hands.
Added notated hymn ‘O redemptor sume carmen’ (f. 71v)
ff. 61-64 is a quire with later additions (see Provenance).
Musical notation: Anglo-Saxon neumes (with litterae significativae), England (Christ Church - Canterbury), (ff. 37, 71v, 133); late neumes on four-line brown staves, England, second half of the 12th century (f. 214v)
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2882.

Henri Barré, Prières anciennes de l'Occident à la mère du Sauveur (Paris: [n. pub.], 1963), p. 134 n. 39.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 48
Decorated initial

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back