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Detailed record for Harley 2915

Title Book of Hours, Use of Sarum
Origin England, S. E. (London)
Date c. 1440 - c. 1450
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Richard Franciscus
Artists Attributed to the Fastolf Master (see Backhouse 1985).
Decoration 24 small unframed scenes in the margins, in colours, in the calendar (ff. 2-7v). 1 full-page miniature in semi-grisaille, followed by a large decorated initial on the facing page, with full foliate borders including small scenes, in grisaille (f. 14v). 10 full-page miniatures in semi-grisaille, with full foliate borders in grisaille, partly followed by large decorated initials with foliate extensions into the margins, in grisaille (ff. 10v, 20v, 43v, 55v, 138v, 156v, 167v. 169v, 171v, 173v). 10 large miniatures in semi-grisaille, with large decorated initials and full foliate borders, in grisaille (ff. 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40, 122v, 161, 163, 165). 5 large miniatures, mostly in semi-grisaille, with large decorated initials with foliate extensions into the margins, in grisaille, or alternately with large flourished initials and full foliate borders in grisaille (ff. 126v, 142v, 151, 152v, 153v). 4 small unframed scenes in the margins, in colours, for prayers (ff. 82, 84, 84v, 104v). Large decorated initials with foliate extensions into the margins, in grisaille. Small initials in red with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing. Cadels.
Dimensions in mm 175 x 130 (105 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 191 (f. 1 is the 1st paper flyleaf; + 1 paper and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaf at the beginning and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaf pasted to a paper flyleaf at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Diced brown calf; gilt spine.
Provenance It has been suggested that the manuscript was written by Richard Franciscus, scribe (active c. 1447): see Christianson 1990. The attribution is doubtful.
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: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II, no. 2915.

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.

Christopher Wordsworth and Henry Littlehales, The Old Service-Books of the English Church, 2nd edn (London: Methuen & Co., 1910), p. 253, pls XXXIII, XXXVII.

Jonathan J.G. Alexander, 'A Lost Leaf from a Bodleian Book of Hours', The Bodleian Library Record, 8 (1967-72), pp. 248-51 (p. 250).

Janet Backhouse, Books of Hours (London: British Library, 1985), pp. 30-31, fig. 26.

C. Paul Christianson, A Director of London Stationers and Book Artisans 1300-1500 (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1990), p.107.

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 6, 2 vols (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), I, 77 n. 41, II, 298, 319.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (London: British Library, 1997), p. 175.

Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547, ed. by Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (London: V & A Publications, 2003), no. 224 [exhibition catalogue].

Justin Clegg, The Medieval Church in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2003), p. 20, fig. 16.

Janet Backhouse, Illuminations from Books of Hours (London: British Library, 2004), pl. 20.

Greg Buzwell, Saints in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2005), p. 20.

Gregory T. Clark, Art in a Time of War (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2016), p. 280.
Last revised: 04 April 2002


Images
* * *
 
Evangelists

f. 10v
Evangelists
Annunciation

f. 14v
Annunciation
Nativity

ff. 27v-28
Nativity
 
Decorated initials

f. 30
Decorated initials
Adoration of the Magi

f. 33
Adoration of the Magi
Presentation

f. 35
Presentation
 
Presentation in the Temple

f. 35
Presentation in the Temple
Presentation in the Temple

f. 35
Presentation in the Temple
Coronation of the Virgin

f. 40
Coronation of the Virgin
 
Last Judgement

f. 43v
Last Judgement
Funeral

f. 55v
Funeral
Priest celebrating Mass

f. 84
Priest celebrating Mass
 
Priest celebrating mass

f. 84
Priest celebrating mass
Crucifixion

f. 104v
Crucifixion
Virgin and Child

f. 138v
Virgin and Child
 
Christ before Pilate

f. 163
Christ before Pilate
Christ before Pilate

f. 163
Christ before Pilate
Crucifixion

f. 167v
Crucifixion
 
Crucifixion

f. 169v
Crucifixion
Entombment of Christ

f. 173v
Entombment of Christ
Entombment of Christ

f. 173v
Entombment of Christ
 

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