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Detailed record for Harley 3075

Author Bede the Venerable
Title Commentary on Catholic Epistles
Origin Germany, W. (?Arnstein)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration 1 zoomorphic initial in red for beginning of book 3 (f. 41). 1 large initial in blue, decorated with red, for beginning of book 1 (f. 1). 2 small initials in red, decorated in same colour, for beginning of all other books (ff. 22v, 54v, 83v, 85, 86v). Rubric on f. 1 in display script.
Dimensions in mm 245 x 150 (195 x 95-110)
Official foliation ff. 92 (+ 6 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Collation i-xi8 (ff. 1-86), xii6 (ff. 87-92)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1980
Provenance Added prologue in a slightly later hand with the initials left blank (f. 1).
The Premonstratensian abbey of St Mary and St Nicholas, Arnstein, founded in 1139: inscribed 'Lib(er) eccl(es)ie s(an)c(t)e m(ari)e vi(rginis) s(an)c(t)iq(ue) nicolai in arinstein' in a 12th- or 13th- century hand (f. 2); recorded in the abbey's 13th-century library catalogue as 'Tractatus super canonicas epistolas' (see Krings 1990); added corrections and notes in hands of 12th, 15th and 16th centuries including that of abbot Heinrich Schupp (see Krings 1990, p. 244).
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).
Harley went to Noel and selected this and other manuscripts that Noel had 'lately brought from Germany' on 9 January 1720/21. The manuscripts arrived on 16 January 1720/21 (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 Ianuarij, 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 The fourth paper flyleaf at the beginning contains a fragment from an earlier (11th century ?) manuscript including two simple initials in red (oxidised).
Apart from the last two, all quires have quire marks.
Trace of metal fitting: one rust stain in centre of outer margin of f. 92.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 3075.

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.

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. 19.

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. 244 no. 14.

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Zoomorphic initial

f. 41
Zoomorphic initial

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