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Detailed record for Harley 3448

Title Flore de virtu e de costumi (Flowers of Virtue and of Custom)
Origin Italy, N. (Padua?)
Date 2nd quarter of the 15th century
Language Italian
Script Gothic
Artists At least two different artists
Decoration Tinted drawings in colours of people and animals, many bestiary subjects (ff. 1v, 2v, 6, 6v, 7 (x 2), 7v (x 2), 8, 9, 9v, 10, 10v, 11v (x 2), 12v (x 2), 13, 13v, 15, 15v, 16, 16v, 17, 17v, 18, 18v, 19v, 20, 20v, 21 (x 2), 22, 22v (x 2), 24, 24v (x 2), 25, 26, 27 (x 2), 27v, 28v, 29, 29v, 30 (x 2), 30v, 31 (x 2), 31v, 32, 32v (x 2), 33, 33v (x 2), 34, 34v (x 2), 35, 36, 36v, 37, 37v, 38, 39, 39v (x 2), 40, 40v, 41 (x 2), 42, 42v, 43v, 44 (x 2) ). Effaced coat of arms (f. 1). Blue initials with red pen-flourishing and red initials with purple pen-flourishing. Rubrics, paraphs, and roman numerals in red.
Dimensions in mm 250 x 175 (175 x 115)
Official foliation ff. i + 49 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; rebound in 1981.
Provenance Unidentified arms incorporating a brown eagle (partly effaced) (f. 1).
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Harley on 23 April 1720 (see 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, '23 die Aprilis A.D. 1720' (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 f. 1 is a paper flyleaf.
f. 49 is a paper leaf with an inscription in Italian.
The treatise has 36 chapters, but is imperfect at the end.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3448.

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. 10.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 197 n. 1.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 162.

Elizabeth Morrison, Beasts: Factual & Fantastic (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 16.


Images
* * *
 
Two men eating

f. 2v
Two men eating
Bear and a beehive

f. 10v
Bear and a beehive
Bear and a beehive

f. 10v
Bear and a beehive
 
Bird and deer

f. 12v
Bird and deer
Bird and deer

f. 12v
Bird and deer
Dead man

f. 12v
Dead man
 
Unicorn

f. 36v
Unicorn

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