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Detailed record for Harley 4376

Author Jean de Courcy
Title Chronique de la Bouquechardière
Origin France, N. W. (Normandy, Rouen)
Date 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language French
Script Gothic cursive (bâtarde)
Artists Master of the Echevinage de Rouen (also known as the Master of the Geneva Latini)
Decoration 6 large miniatures in colours and gold with full borders with acanthus leaves, fruits and flowers and large initials at the beginning of each book, of Noah and the Ark, the foundation of Argos, and the foundation of Athens (f. 2v); Paris and Helena meeting Priam outside Troy (f. 90); the construction of Venice, Sycambria, Carthage, and Rome (f. 150): Nimrod and the construction of the tower of Babel (f. 206v); Alexander and the Wheel of Fortune, and the murder of Alexander II of Macedonia ( f. 271); and the Taking of Jerusalem (f. 356v). Full borders in gold and colours with acanthus leaves, fruits and flowers (f. 1). Numerous 2-line initials with ivy and foliate decoration in gold and colours accompanied by a strip of ink tendrils with flowers and fruits (intercolumnar or marginal). Initials in colours and gold. Space left for a coat of arms, but left blank (ff. 1, 90, 150, 206v, 271, 356v). Capitals marked in yellow wash.
Dimensions in mm 430 x 320 (290 x 200), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 405 (+ 2 unfoliated parchment leaves and 2 unfoliated paper leaves at the beginning + 1 unfoliated paper leaf after ff. 2, 206, 270, 356 + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Gilt edges.
Provenance Faded inscription in a medieval hand (f. 1, in space reserved for arms).
Carollon Le roy, ?17th century: 'Hic liber pertinet ad Carollon Le roy manenten In opidu ?Gazencourt' (f. 405v).
Former pressmark: LXVIII.H, post-medieval (f. [iii]).
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 Book I (ff. 2v-89v) follows Genesis to the peopling of the world after the Flood and then concentrates on Greece; Book II (ff. 90-149v) deals with Troy; Book III (ff. 150-206) the cities founded by the fleeing Trojans; Book IV (ff. 206v-270v) with Babylon; Book V (271-356) with Macedonia and the conquests of Alexander; Book VI (f. 256v-405) with the Maccabees and the Holy Land to the time of Christ.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4376.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Ilustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 18.

[J. A. Herbert], Illuminated Manuscripts and Bindings of Manuscripts Exhibited in The Grenville Library, Guide to the Exhibited Manuscripts, 3 (Oxford: British Museum, 1923), no. 114.

Béatrice de Chancel, ‘Les manuscrits de la Bouquechardière de Jean de Courcy’, Revue d’Histoire des Textes 17 (1987), 219-90 (pp. 228-29, 269-70, 285, 289).

Claudia Rabel, 'Artiste et clientèle à la fin du Moyen Age : les manuscrits profanes du Maître de l’échevinage de Rouen', Revue de l’art, 84 (1989), 48-60 (p. 59 n. 17 and 24).

Babylon: Myth and Reality, ed. by I. L. Finkel and M. J. Seymour (London: British Museum, 2008), p. 132, fig. 111 [exhibition catalogue].

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 26.


Images
* * *
 
The Ark

f. 2v
The Ark
Paris and Helena

f. 90
Paris and Helena
Paris and Helena

f. 90
Paris and Helena
 
Paris and Helena

f. 90
Paris and Helena
Construction

f. 150
Construction
Nemrod

f. 206v
Nemrod
 
Text page

f. 217
Text page
Alexander

f. 271
Alexander
Alexander

f. 271
Alexander
 
Jerusalem

f. 356v
Jerusalem

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