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Detailed record for Harley 616

Title Bible (Genesis-Psalms), imperfect, ending in Psalm 109
Origin France, Central (Paris)
Date last quarter of the 13th century
Language French
Script Gothic, written below top line
Artists Illumination attributed to Richard de Verdun, son-in-law of Master Honoré; related to the Master of the Méliacin.
Decoration 22 large miniatures in colours and gold at the beginning of books (ff. 1, 53, 69v, 81v, 101, 118, 143, 161, 163, 177, 190, 204v, 218v, 230v, 246, 249, 253v, 259, 263v, 268v, 274, 286). 9 large historiated initials in colours and gold at the beginning of Genesis and the divisions of Psalms, usually with or extending to form a 1-sided bar border in colours and gold (ff. 1, 286v, 291, 294, 297, 299v, 303, 306, 309v). Large initials in colours and gold with foliate decoration, a few also with dragons, masks, or hybrid creatures, at the beginning of some books or prologues (ff. 53, 69v, 81v, 101, 117, 118, 143, 161, 163, 177, 190, 204v, 218v, 230v, 245, 246, 249, 253v, 259, 263v, 268v, 274). Partial bar border with leaves in colours and gold, with figures and animals (f. 1). Small initials in combinations of red, blue, pink, white, and gold with small extensions, at the beginning of chapters, a few with or of a dragon or hybrid (e.g., ff. 47v, 73, 76v). Chapter numbers in red and blue. Running headers of letters in blue with red penwork decoration, and in red with blue penwork decoration.
Dimensions in mm 400 x 290 (250 x 190) in two columns
Official foliation ff. i + 309 (+ an unfoliated parchment leaf after f. i, and 6 at the end)
Collation i-ii8 (ff. 1-16), iii five (ff. 17-21), iv-xxxviii8 (ff. 22-309)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 1644 parchment over pasteboard with 2 metalwork clasps; Simonds d' Ewes's arms in the centre of the outer covers, added together with the clasps in 1644 for 2s.
Provenance 14th-century annotations to gloss individual words (see Sneddon).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972): his binding and arms, bought in 1644 from Bee for £2 (see Watson 1966, no. A308).
Sir Simonds D’Ewes (d. 1722), 3rd baronet and grandson of the former: inherited and later sold the D’Ewes library to Robert Harley on 4 October 1705 for £450 (see Watson 1966).
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 One of three manuscripts of the 'Bible du XIIIe siècle', or French translation of the Bible not a compilation with sections of Guyart des Moulins' Bible historiale. (see Sneddon 1979 p. 130).
Volume 2 of Proverbs-Revelation is now Yates Thompson 9 (formerly Additional 41751).
Catchwords.
Small drawings ink brown ink as guides to the illuminator (ff. 81v, 143, 246).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), I, no. 606.

Samuel Berger, La Bible francaise au Moyen-Age : étude sur les plus anciennes versions de la Bible écrites en prose et en langue d'Oil (Paris: Champion, 1884), p. 398.

Montague Rhodes James, A Descriptive Catalogue of Fifty Manuscripts from the Collection of Henry Yates Thompson (Cambridge: University Press, 1898), pp. 207-8.

Georg Graf Vitzthum, Die Pariser Miniaturmalerei: von der Zeit des hl. Ludwig bis zu Philipp von Valois und ihr Verhältnis zur Malerei in Nordwesteuropa (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1907), p. 165.

Francis Wormald, 'The Yates Thompson Manuscripts', British Museum Quarterly, 16 (1951), 4-6.

Carl Nordenfalk, 'Maître Honoré and Maître Pucelle', Apollo, 79 (1964), 356-64 (p. 358).

C. A. Robson, 'Vernacular Scriptures in France', in The Cambridge History of the Bible, 3 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963-70), II (1969), pp. 436-52, p. 530.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. A308.

Clive R. Sneddon, ‘'The Bible du XIIIe Siècle': Its Medieval Public in the Light of its Manuscript Tradition', in The Bible and Medieval Culture, Mediaevalia Lovaniensia, Series 1, 7 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1979), pp. 127-40 (pp. 130 n. 11, 136).

Michel Quereuil, La Bible française du XIIIe siècle: édition critique de la Genèse, Publications romanes et françaises, 183 (Genève: Droz, 1988), pp. 37-52 [as 'L'].

Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 185.

L'art au temps des rois maudits: Philippe le Bel et ses fils (1285-1328) (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1998), p. 266.

John Lowden, The Making of the Bibles Moralisées, 2 vols (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), II: The Book of Ruth, II, p. 56 n. 17, 257 n. 4.

Clive Sneddon, 'On the Creation of the Old French Bible', Nottingham Medieval Studies, 46 (2002), 25-44 (p. 28 n. 11).

Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (London: British Library, 2007), p. 117, fig. 104.


Images
* * *
 
Creation

f. 1
Creation
Creation

f. 1
Creation
Creation

f. 1
Creation
 
Creation

f. 1
Creation
Marginal images

f. 1
Marginal images
Animals

f. 1
Animals
 


f. 53
Moses and the Israelites

f. 53
Moses and the Israelites
Offering at an altar

f. 59v
Offering at an altar
 
Moses

f. 81v
Moses
Moses giving Tablets of the Law

f. 101
Moses giving Tablets of the Law
Joshua

f. 118
Joshua
 


f. 143
Elimelech and Naomi

f. 161
Elimelech and Naomi


f. 163
 


f. 177


f. 190
Ahaziah (Ochozias)

f. 204v
Ahaziah (Ochozias)
 


f. 218v


f. 230v


f. 246
 


f. 249


f. 253v
Tobias

f. 259
Tobias
 


f. 259


f. 263v


f. 268v
 


f. 274
David

f. 286v
David


f. 286v
 
Detail

f. 291
Detail
Detail

f. 294
Detail
Detail

f. 297
Detail
 
Detail

f. 299v
Detail
Detail

f. 303
Detail
Detail

f. 306
Detail
 
Detail

f. 309v
Detail

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