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Detailed record for Harley 7183

Title Homiliary: sermons and homilies
Origin Italy, Central (? Florence)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration 1 very large historiated initial in colours and gold with interlace, animal head and enclosing Ambrose, seated (f. 1). 5 large historiated initials, with a blessing cleric, bust-length (Gregory? (f. 25), Stephen? (f. 67), Remigius? (f. 111v), Augustine? (f. 242)), or with the head of a saint (John the Baptist (f. 106v)). 1 defaced historiated initial (f. 267). 1 very large decorated initial in colours and gold with interlace, foliate decoration and human head (f. 44). Display script in red and black, occasionally with penwork decoration in the same colour follows the very large initials (ff. 1, 44). Numerous large initials in colours (some with zoomorphic element) with white tendrils on a blue, green and/or dark red ground, sometimes including interlace, animal heads (ff. 15, 21v, 31, 109v, 195, 257, 258, etc.), owls (ff. 12, 79, 91, etc.), fish (ff. 9, 41, 58v, 80v, 92, 95, 111v, 143, 178v), an owl meeting a fish (f. 36), hybrid creatures (ff. 11, 89v, 196v, 250, etc.), birds (ff. 14, 20, 38, 44v, 55, 69, 154v, 160v, 231v, 233v, 244, 252, 263v, etc.), two birds drinking from a cup at the top of a corinthian column (f. 7v), a serpent (ff. 82, 149), human heads (ff. 42, 79, etc.), a man supporting the letter (f. 223), fish in a square pool converging towards a flower shape to form an 'X' (f. 255v), fish in a pool (f. 269v), or fully zoomorphic initials (e.g., in the shape of a hybrid creature standing on its tail and biting its back (ff. 2v, 72, 101v, 225, 252v), a wolf swallowing a bird (f. 28v), a hare (f. 68v), a bird (f. 81)). Large coloured initials in red. Initial in brown ink with brown penwork decoration (f. 122v).
Dimensions in mm 565 x 375 (420 x 260), in 2 columns
Official foliation Vol. 1: ff. 154 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end). Vol. 2: ff. 163 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Added annotations, late 14th century.
Antonius Pele, ?Florence, 3rd quarter of the 15th century: 3 added medallions, one enclosing a bishop with a crozier and 2 with his arms, and inscribed in large letters 'Antonius Pele antonii de pascis' (f. 1).
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Edward Harley on 22 June 1726 (Diary 1966; Wright 1972)
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 ‘22 die mensis Junij, A.D. 1726’ (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 Bound in two volumes.
Catchwords written horizontally.
The outer margin of one folio has been excised (f. 121).
In very good condition.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 7183.

W. R. Tymms and M. D. Wyatt, The Art of Illuminating as Practised in Europe from the Earliest Times (London: Day and Sons, 1860; repr. Studio Editions, 1987), pls XI.2-3, p. 32.

The Palaeographic Society: Facsimiles of Manuscripts and Inscriptions, 2nd series, ed. by Edward Augustus Bond, Edward Maunde Thompson, and George Frederic Warner, (London: Cloves and Sons, 1884-1894), II, pl. 55.

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Methuen, 1911), p. 168.

Edward B. Garrison, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Italian Painting, 4 vols (Florence: L’impronta, 1953-1964), I (1954), p. 39 n. 8; II (1955-1956), 69, figs. 107, 191-193.

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. 337 n. 1.

Knut Berg, Studies in Tuscan Twelfth-century Illumination (Oslo: University Press, 1968), no. 106, figs 132-37.

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. 162, 273.


Images
* * *
 
Decorated initial

Vol. 1, f. 44
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

Vol. 1, f. 140
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

Vol. 1, f. 140
Decorated initial
 
Historiated initial

Vol. 1, f. 1
Historiated initial
Decorated initial

Vol. 1, f. 95
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

Vol. 1, f. 98
Decorated initial
 
Zoomorphic initial

Vol. 2, f. 224v
Zoomorphic initial
Zoomorphic initial

Vol. 2, f. 224v
Zoomorphic initial

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