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Detailed record for Harley 2807

Title Bible (without the Psalms)
Origin England
Date 2nd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, mixing above the top line and below the top line, sometimes even within the same quire
Decoration Sketched frames for Canon tables between two prologues to the Gospels (ff. 272v-273; ff. 273v-274 left blank). Marginal sketch of a tonsured figure in prayer with the hand of God above (f. 191). 2 large historiated initials for the Prologue and the beginning of Genesis (f. 3: friar writing on a scroll; f. 5v: Creation scenes and Crucifixion). 2 large puzzle initials with a horned grotesque head and a three-faced crowned head (f. 283v), and with grotesque heads swallowing the initial (f. 297v). Large puzzle initials in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the same colours (2 initials combined on f. 322). 1 large arabesque initial in red and blue (f. 94v). 1 large plain initial in red (f. 265). Small initials in red or blue with penwork decoration in the other colour (only on ff. 5v-6). Chapter numbers in red or blue. In some quires, the initials at the beginning of each chapter are in red or blue. Foliate decoration sketched in the margin (only on ff. 211v, 213v and 220v). Running titles in red.
Dimensions in mm 195 x 140 (135 x 90) in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 339 (+ 1 unfoliated parchment leaf after f. 219 and 1after f. 335 + 4 paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end).
Collation i2 (ff. 1-2, 17th century), ii12 (ff. 3-14), iii14 (ff. 15-38), iv-ix12 (ff. 39-110), x15 (ff. 111-124), xi5 (ff. 125-129), xii-xiii12 (ff. 130-153), xiv15 (ff. 154-168), xv10 (ff. 169-178), xvi-xviii12 (ff. 179-214), xix5 (ff. 215-219), xx12 (ff. 220-231), xxi8 (ff. 232-239), xxii23 (ff. 240-262), xxiii9 (ff. 263-271), xxiv-xxviii12 (ff. 272-331), xxix8 (ff. 332-339).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1997.
Provenance Various medieval inscriptions in Latin (ff. 337v, 338, 339).
William Petyt (b. 1636, d. 1707), antiquary, of Middle Temple, Keeper of the Tower Records; his crest, arms and motto 'qui s'estime petit deviendra grand' (f. 1) and his ownership inscription with the date 1665 (f. 2).
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 Chapters do not start on a new line.
The Prologue to Esdras (f. 129v) is immediately followed by Proverbs, Esdras begins on f. 240 after another prologue on f. 239v (following Esther). Numbered subdivisions in the Gospels.
Some quires numbered on the verso of the last folio. Catchwords. Pricking holes.
ff. 1-3 are post-medieval parchment leaves added to bear the ex-libris of a 17th-century owner (see Provenance).
Dating of this manuscript proposed by Patricia Stirnemann.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2807.

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. 275.


Images
* * *
 
St Jerome writing

f. 3
St Jerome writing
Creation scenes

f. 5v
Creation scenes
Decorated initial

f. 94v
Decorated initial
 
Text page

f. 136
Text page
Tonsured figure

f. 191
Tonsured figure
Text page

f. 320
Text page
 

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