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Detailed record for Harley 6525

Author Johannes Gallicus
Title Ritus canendi
Origin Italy
Date 4th quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Decoration Historiated initial of a figure on a blue panel with acanthus leaves (f. 35). 2 large red initials on a blue panel with white, green and red foliage, (early white vine initials) (ff. 1, 77). Numerous coloured initials in red or blue, occasionally with reserved designs (e.g, ff. 5, 14v, 18, 35 (with pen-flourishing in red)). Paraphs in red or blue. Capitals marked in red. Numerous musical diagrams and tables in blue, red, pink and/or brown ink, with occasional foliate patterns ?oxidised white (e.g., ff. 4v, 6v, 7v, 8v, 9, 10).
Dimensions in mm 290 x 215 (195 x 145)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 96 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Inscribed, 15th century, 'Iste liber est domus scolae dei ordinis Cartusienssis prope papinjar (f. 1; partly erased and altered).
Johannes Spissatus, priest, 16th century: inscribed '1554 mense Junio' monogram 'SP' with 'A' on either side, and 'Ioann[nes]' (on a piece of paper pasted onto f. 1*v), and 'Huius libri ego presbiter Jo. Ant. Spissatus feci me possessorem ob nonullos libros parvos librario in Cambri[?] usus sibis datis 1554 me[n]se Junij' (f. 1; cancelled).
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 f. 19v is ruled but blank.
Musical notation, especially in book 1, part 2 (ff. 37v-56v).
f. 95 is a parchment leaf.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 6525.

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. 312.

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 189.

Johannes Gallicus, Ritus Canendi, ed. by Albert Seay (Colorado Springs: Colorado College Music Press, 1981).

The Theory of Music, 6 vols (Munich: Henle, 1961-2003), IV: Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500 in Great Britain and in the United States of America, Descriptive Catalogue, Répertoire international des sources musicales, B III6, 2 parts (1992), I, Christian Meyer, pp. 86-87.

* * *
Early white vine initial

f. 1
Early white vine initial
Musical diagram

f. 7v
Musical diagram

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