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Detailed record for Harley 4413

Title Coutumier d'Anjou et du Maine
Origin France, N. W. (?Angers)
Date c. 1462-1480
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration Large historiated initial in colours and gold with a coat of arms (?altered) (f. 2). Each paragraph has its first words written in a larger script introduced by a decorated initials with brown penwork decoration and cadels (e.g., ff. 43, 50v, 51, 90v (with a fish), 104v, 110, 116v (fish)). Some ascenders decorated with penwork in brown ink and cadels (e.g., ff. 17, 24, 44). Catchword occasionally decorated with brown penwork (e.g., ff. 65v, 89v).
Dimensions in mm 320 x 235 (200 x 120)
Official foliation ff. 133 (+ 1 paper leaf and parchment leaf pasted together at the beginning + 5 unfoliated blank ruled leaves and 1 parchment leaf and paper leaf pasted together at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Marbled endpapers; gilt edges armorial binding
Provenance Unidentified arms azur with three besants or, 15th century (f. 2; altered?).
Cancelled ownership inscription, ?15th century (f. 133v).
Louis Henri de Loménie (b. 1635, d. 1698), comte de Brienne: his armorial binding (a catalogue of his books dated 1656 features in Harley 4455, ff. 185-238).
The Loménie de Brienne family : sold by the son of Louis Henri de Loménie through the London bookseller James Woodman on 18 May 1724 to Edward Harley, his sale, lot 140 (see Wright 1972).
Inscribed 'Coutumes du pays d'Anjou et du Maine. Corrigées et arretées par vertu des lettres de René le bon Roy de Sicile & datées du 6e d[ecem]bre 1458 publiées aux grands jours de Anjou tenus en 1462 & autorisées par autres lettres patentes du d[it] Roy René du mois de Janvier 1462 dont la teneur s'ensuit.', 'L'original desd[its] coutumes & styles est a paris dans la chambre des Comptes Layette Anjou dont il y a une copie collationnée, etc...' (f. 1v), and numerous marginal annotations in the same hand relating the text to printed editions, etc., 18th century (see also ff. 107-108, 109v).
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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘18 die Maij, A.D. 1724’ (f. 1).
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 Catchwords written horizontally.
ff. 108v-109 are ruled and unwritten.
René I of Anjou (b. 1408, d. 1480) was duke of Lorraine, Bar and Anjou, king of Naples, and count of Provence.
At the end of the prologue by René of Anjou: 'Nous avons estably & ordonne establissons et ordonnons ce present livre estre mis & garde en nostre chambre des comptes de ceste nostre ville dangiers. Et que dicelluy soit baille coppie ou double a ch[acu]n qui le requerra ou vouldra avoir a ses despens qu[an]t bon luy semblera. Et affin que ce soyt chose ferme et estable a tousiours mais. nous avons signe ces presentes de n[ost]re main et fait mettre & apposer n[ost]re seel. Donne en nostre Chastel dangiers ou moys de Janvier. Lan de Grace mil quatre cens soixante & deux' (f. 3).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4413.

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. 313 n. 5.

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. 225, 358-59.

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Historiated initial

f. 2
Historiated initial

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