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Detailed record for Harley 4605

Author Christine de Pisan
Title Le livre des faits d'armes et de chevalerie
Origin England, S. E. (London)
Date 1434
Language French
Script Gothic
Scribe Delafita
Artists Close in style to hand B of a Psalter, London, Victoria & Albert Museum, Reid 42 (see Scott 1996).
Decoration 4 large miniatures with large decorated initials and full foliate borders, in colours and gold (ff. 3, 41, 71, 95). Large initials in gold on red and/or blue grounds. Small initials in gold with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing. Cadels. Capital letters highlighted in yellow.
Dimensions in mm 310 x 210 (190 x 125) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 115 (f. 1 is a medieval parchment flyleaf; + 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BL/BM in-house. Rebound in 1966.
Provenance Colophon, 'Explicit. Digatz un pater noster et un ave maria per mosseu peyer Delafita qui a escrivt a quest present livre en lan de nostre senh'r mil.cccc.xxxiiijo Et fut feit a Londres. A xv.de may' (f. 115).
The Abbey of Ste Croix, Bordeaux, by 1718: inscribed 'Monasterij Sancte crucis Burdegal [Bordeaux] congregationis Sancti mauri catalogo inscriptus anno 1718' (f. 2).
Inscribed, early 18th century: 'Ex dono domini Bigornet(?) Amici(?)' (f. 1).
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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan,1808-1812), III (1808), p. 178 (no. 4605).

Christine de Pisan, The Book of Fayttes of Armes and of Chyualrye, trans. by William Caxton, ed. by A. T. P. Byles, Early English Text Society, original series, 189 (London: Oxford University Press, 1932), pp. xviii-xix.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Manuscripts in English Libraries, ed. by Harry Bober, Catalogue of Astrological and Mythological Illuminated Manuscripts of the Latin Middle Ages, 3, 2 vols (London: Warburg Institute, 1953), I, pp. 189-90.

Cyril E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 73, 77.

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. 811.

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 6, 2 vols (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), II, pp. 216, 217.

Ursula Pieters, Das Ich im Bild: die Figur des Autors in volksprachigen Handschriften des 13. bis 16. Jahrhunderts (Cologne: Bohlau, 2008), p. 221.


Images
* * *
 
Christine de Pisan

f. 3
Christine de Pisan
Christine de Pisan

f. 3
Christine de Pisan
Battle

f. 41
Battle
 
Emperor, bishop, and soldiers

f. 71
Emperor, bishop, and soldiers
Prince ordering an arrest

ff. 94v-95
Prince ordering an arrest
Prince ordering an arrest

ff. 94v-95
Prince ordering an arrest
 
Prince ordering an arrest

f. 95
Prince ordering an arrest

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