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Detailed record for Harley 2450

Title Breviary, use of Le Mans (Breviarum Cenomanense), with a calendar, lectionary and psalms
Origin France, N. W. (diocese of Le Mans)
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Written by more than one scribe
Decoration 5 large initials in colours and gold with ivy tendrils extending into the margins (ff. 24v, 146v, 429v, 497v, 527). Initials in gold with black pen-flourishing, in blue with red pen-flourishing, or in red with gold pen-flourishing. 1 plain red initial (f. 526v). Capitals marked in yellow. Rubrics in red, underlining in red. Ruled in red.
Dimensions in mm 125 x 90 (85 x 55)
Official foliation ff. 569 (+ 1 unfoliated ruled parchment leaf at the beginning)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. White leather over pasteboards.
Provenance Nicolas Joseph Foucault (b. 1643, d. 1721), marquis de Magny, statesman and archaeologist: his book-plate with the legend 'EX BIBLIOTHECA | NICOLAI JOSEPH FOUCAULT | COMITIS CONSISTORIANI' with his arms [sable] a lion rampant, dexter, crowned [argent], as supporters two lions [argent]; a couronne de marquis surmounting the shield (inside upper cover).
Thomas Ballard, bookseller and book auctioneer in London; his sale, 20 February 1720/21, lot 15, bought for Edward Harley through Nathaniel Noel.
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 ff. 18, 49: initials excised
Folio or folios wanting after f. 104.
f. 157 is a stub; the folio has been torn out.
ff. 243-274 cut in the lower margins.
1 folio torn out after f. 274; only an unfoliated stub remains.
1 unfoliated ruled parchment leaf after ff. 252 and 265.
5 unfoliated blank ruled leaves after f. 526.
Numerous folios damaged and/or stained.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2450.

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. 91 n. 16.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 62, 155.

Lisa Fagin Davis, 'Canons, Huguenots, Movie Stars, and Missionaries: A Breviary’s Journey from Le Mans to Reno', Manuscript Studies: A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies 1.2 (2016), 293-306 (p. 297, n. 2).

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