You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 2733

Author Marcus Tullius Cicero
Title Orator (ff. 1-59v); Brutus (ff. 60-138)
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date c. 1470-c. 1480
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Scribe Nicolaus Sextius (pupiensis)
Decoration White vine partial border in colours and gold with flowers, a winged putto, birds, a gem, and 2 compartments with rabbits, combined with a large initial in gold on a red panel (f. 1). Large white vine initial in colours and gold with penwork and besants (f. 60).
Dimensions in mm 230 x 145 (140 x 75)
Official foliation ff. 138 (+ 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf and 2 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves and 1 paper flyleaf at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 10.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers; gilt edges.
Provenance A monastic library founded or endowed by the Guicciardini (see Wright 1972).
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer: sold to Edward Harley on 13 February 1723/4 (Diary 1966; Wright 1972).
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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘13 die Februarij, A.D. 1723/4’ (f. [ii]).
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 Catchwords.
Very clean manuscript: no marginal annotations.
This manuscript was made in Florence c. 1470-c. 1480, according to unpublished notes of A. C. de la Mare at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2733.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 217 n. 7.

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. 162, 163.

Albinia de la Mare, 'New Research on Humanistic Scribes in Florence', in Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1440-1525: un primo censimento, ed. by Annarosa Garzelli, 2 vols, ([Florence]: Giunta regionale toscana, 1985), I, pp. 395-574 (p. 521).

* * *
Decorated initial and white vine border

f. 1
Decorated initial and white vine border

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back