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Detailed record for Harley 3055

Author Gregory the Great
Title Homiliae in Ezechielem (ff. 1v-88); Homiliae in Canticum canticorum (ff. 88v-108)
Origin Germany, W. (Arnstein)
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration 2 historiated initials, outlined in black, with red and light brown, on a blue ground (ff. 27v, 90). 24 large decorated initials, outlined in black, with red, light brown and occasionally some yellow and green, on a red and green ground, with foliate motifs and clasps (ff. 1v (x2), 4v, 7v, 10v, 12v, 15, 18v, 22v, 32v, 38, 42, 46v, 47, 51, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70v, 75, 79, 84, 88v), 8 of them with winged dragons (ff. 1v, 4v, 22v, 32v, 46v, 70v, 75, 79), 2 with birds (ff. 42, 62), 1 with a male face (f. 79) and 1 with a dog (f. 88v). 1 simple initial in red (f. 88). Display script in alternate red and black letters (on ff. 1v, 4v just in red) following large initials. Rubrics and some running headers in red.
Dimensions in mm 370 x 270 (280 x 195), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 108 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1964
Provenance The Premonstratensian abbey of St Mary and Nicholas, Arnstein, founded in 1139: the initials appear to be by the same hand(s) as those in Harley 3053 (ff. 12v, 21v, 30v, 34v, 45v, 56v, 67v, 75v, 91, 101v, 116, 120v, 131v) and Harley 3054; both these manuscripts were written by Arnstein scribes (see Harley 3053, f. 1 and Harley 3054, f. 1); inscribed, ?14th century 'Liber sancte Marie sanctique Nicolai in Arinsteyn, quem siquis abstulerit anathema sit' (f. 1); notes in later hands including that of abbot Heinrich Schupp (d. 1574).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie (Wright 1972; see Diary 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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘16 die Januarij, A.D. 1720/21’ (f. 1).
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 Quire marks (in the centre of the lower margin of the recto of the first leaf of the quire).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3055.

A. Kohl, 'Arnsteiner Handschriften im Britischen Museum zu London', Nassovia. Zeitschrift für nassauische Geschichte und Heimatkunde, 4 (1903), 106-08,120-21,133-34 (p. 121).

Wilhelm Köhler, 'Die Karolingischen Miniaturen', in Zweiter Bericht über die Denkmäler Deutscher Kunst (Berlin: Reimer, 1912), pp. 52-77 (p. 58).

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 81 n. 11.

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 53, 254.

Sigrid Krämer, Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz: Ergänzungsband 1, 3 vols (Munich, 1989-90), I (1989), p. 26.

Bruno Krings, Das Prämonstratenserstift Arnstein a. d. Lahn im Mittelalter (1139-1527) (Wiesbaden: Selbstverlag der Historischen Kommission für Nassau, 1990), p. 246, no. 16.

* * *
Historiated initial

f. 27v
Historiated initial

f. 90

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