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Detailed record for Burney 169

Author Quintus Curtius Rufus, translated by Vasco da Lucena
Title History of Alexander the Great (Les faize d'Alexandre)
Origin Netherlands, S. (Bruges)
Date between c. 1468 and 1475
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Artists The Master of the Vienna Chroniques d'Angleterre and an assistant, perhaps the Master of the Harley Froissart (see Kren and McKendrick 2003 p. 67).
Decoration 18 large miniatures at major textual divisions, some with full borders including foliate, fruit, and heraldic decoration, in colours and gold (ff. 11, 21v, 31, 42v, 50, 57v, 69, 84, 95, 101, 111, 127, 135v, 142v, 149v, 156, 167, 186v). 34 single-column miniatures at minor textual divisions in semi-grisaille or colours and gold, some with partial foliate borders in colours and gold (ff. 14, 17v, 18v, 25, 36, 40, 46v, 48v, 66, 73, 75v, 82, 83, 88, 92, 100, 108, 114v, 119, 119v, 125, 131v, 139, 147v, 158v, 165v, 174v, 176v, 179v, 182, 189v, 191v, 193v, 200). Large initials marking chapter divisons in colours with foliate decoration on gold grounds. Large and small gold initials on pink and blue grounds. Line-fillers, and haute-de-page foliation and capitula in pink, blue, and gold. Red or brown cadells, some with brown ink faces.
Dimensions in mm 430 x 310 (285 x 205) in two columns
Official foliation ff. iii + 202 + 10*, 10** (ff. i-iii and 203-205 are paper flyleaves)
Collation i8 (ff. 1-8), ii4 (ff. 9-10**), iii8-2 (the central bifolium missing after f. 13; ff. 11-16); iv-v8 (ff. 17-32), vi8-1 (2nd leaf excised; ff. 33-39), vii-xi8 (ff. 40-79), xii4 (ff. 80-83), xii-xvi8 (ff. 84-115), xvii8-1 (7th leaf missing after f. 121; ff. 116-122), xviii-xxvii8 (ff. 123-202).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. second half of the 18th century pale brown morocco, probably by Richard Weir (d. 1792) for MacCarthy-Reagh, before 1789, the covers framed by a 'broken cable' design; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Philippe de Cluis (Cluys), Knight of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and Bailiff of the Morea: purchased by him in 1475: dated inscription (f. 13); the arms of the Cluys family of Bourges and of his order (f. 11).
R. F.: initials 'R F' joined by a knot (f. 11).
D. G: linked initials 'DG' (f. 194v), and 'quand Dieu voudray'? (f. 159, lower margin).
? Count Justin de MacCarthy-Reagh (b. 1744, d. 1811): possibly his binding (see notes); sold in an anonymous sale including McCarthy-Reagh manuscripts, 18 May 1789, lot 1644, bought by Jackson for £8 18s 6d.
John Jackson (d. 1794), antiquary: his sale 28 April 1794, lot 370, bought by Gough for £11 11s.
Richard Gough (b. 1735, d. 1809), antiquary.
Charles Burney (b. 1757, d. 1817), D.D., classical scholar.
Acquired by the British Museum as part of Burney’s library from his son Charles Parr Burney in 1818.
Notes Several leaves with miniatures removed; ff. 11 and 84 re-inserted.
For information on bindings made by Richard Weir for McCarthy-Reagh, see Charles Ramsden, 'Richard Weir and Count MacCarthy-Reagh', The Book Collector 2 (1953), pp. 247-57, esp. pl. 1, in which the major tool used in the spine compartments appears to be the same as that of this manuscript.
Select bibliography Catalogue of Manuscripts in The British Museum, New Series, 1 vol. in 2 parts (London: British Museum, 1834-1840), part II: The Burney Manuscripts (1840), p. 54, pl. 3.

Flemish Art 1300-1700, Winter Exhibition 1953-4 (London: Royal Academy of Arts ,1953-4), no. 582.

Robert H. Lucas, 'Medieval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500', Speculum: A Journal of Mediaeval Studies, 45 (1970), 225-53 (p. 237).

David J. A. Ross, Alexander Historiatus: A Guide to medieval illustrated Alexander Literature, 2nd edn, Athenäum Monografien, Altertumswissenschaft, Beiträge zur Klassischen Philologie, ed. by Ernst Heitsch and others, 186 (Frankfurt: Athenäum, 1988), p. 70, no. 13.

Scot McKendrick, 'The Illustrated Manuscripts of Vasco da Lucena's Translation of Curtius's Historiae Alexandri Magni: Nature Corrupted by Fortune?', in Medieval Manuscripts of the Latin Classics: Production and Use, ed by C. A. Chavannes-Mazel and M. Smith, Conference Papers from the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Leiden, 1993 (Los Altos Hills, California: Red Gull Press, 1996), 131-49 (p. 133 n. 13; p. 137 n. 21; p. 145, n. 50).

Scot McKendrick, The History of Alexander the Great: An Illuminated Manuscript of Vasco da Lucena's French Translation of the Ancient Text by Quintus Curtius Rufus (Los Angeles: [n. pub.], 1996), pp. 24-25.

Pamela Porter, Medieval Warfare in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 47, 57, 59.

Scot McKendrick, Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1400-1550 (London: British Library, 2003), pl. 19.

Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 67 fig. 36a, p. 298 n. 4. [exhibition catalogue]

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 91.
Last revised: 05 February 2005


Images
* * *
 
Presentation of the volume

f. 11
Presentation of the volume
Presentation of the volume

f. 11
Presentation of the volume
Detail

f. 11
Detail
 
Queen

f. 14
Queen
Detail

f. 14
Detail
Siege

f. 21v
Siege
 
Detail

f. 21v
Detail
Alexander the Great

f. 25
Alexander the Great
Illuminated initial

f. 42
Illuminated initial
 
Alexander the Great

f. 42v
Alexander the Great
Battle

f. 50
Battle
Detail

f. 50
Detail
 
Detail

f. 50
Detail
Alexander consults his astrologers

f. 69
Alexander consults his astrologers
Jousting

f. 84
Jousting
 
Detail

f. 84
Detail
Detail

f. 84
Detail
Battle

f. 111
Battle
 
Detail

f. 111
Detail
Handguns

f. 127
Handguns
Illuminated initial

f. 176
Illuminated initial
 

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