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Detailed record for Harley 2971

Title Book of Hours, Use of Paris
Origin France, Central (Paris)
Date c. 1450 - c. 1460
Language Latin and some French
Script Gothic
Artists In the style of the Salisbury Breviary St Stephen Master; attributed to a late follower of the Bedford Master
Decoration 18 full-page miniatures with large decorated initials and full foliate borders, in colours and gold (ff. 13, 14v, 16, 17v, 26, 46v, 56, 61, 65, 68v, 72v, 78v, 85, 101v, 106, 109v, 158, 163). 1 large decorated initial with three-sided foliate borders, in colours and gold, at the beginning of the prayer Obsecro te (f. 18v). All text pages with partial foliate borders, in colours and gold. Large and small initials and line-fillers in gold on red and blue grounds. Capital letters highlighted in yellow.
Dimensions in mm 210 x 150 (105 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 165 (+ 2 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Harleian binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers; gilt edges.
Provenance Perhaps written for a woman: the prayer Obsecro te uses the feminine form 'famule tue' (f. 20v), although the prayer O intemerata uses the common masculine form 'miserrimo paccatori' (f. 23).
Erased inscriptions on rectos in the calendar, 15th? century (ff. 1-12).
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 '21 die Decembris A.D. 1723.' (2nd flyleaf). 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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II, no. 2971.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 17.

Janet Backhouse, Illumination from Book of Hours (London: British Library, 2004), no. 33.

Catherine Reynolds, ‘The Workshop of the Master of the Duke of Bedford: Definitions and Identities’, ed. by G. Croenen and P. Ainsworth, Patrons, Authors and Workshops: Books and Book Production in Paris around 1400 (Leuven: Peeters, 2006), pp. 437-72 (pp. 454, 457, fig. 71).

Gregory T. Clark, Art in a Time of War (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2016), pp. 173, 308, Ill. 175.


Images
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f. 13
John on Patmos
Flight into Egypt

f. 72v
Flight into Egypt
Church mass

f. 109v
Church mass
 
Church mass

f. 109v
Church mass

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