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Detailed record for Harley 4361

Title Livre de Sydrac
Origin France, S. (or Italy, N., Crema)
Date Last quarter of the 13th century or 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration Two-sided border in red and blue with a large initial with foliate motifs, a portrait of king Bochus, and a dragon (f. 7). 5 partial borders in red and blue with various human, animal, and foliate motifs (ff. 18, 23v, 31v, 41, 46). 3 marginal drawings in red and blue of dragons (ff. 1, 18v, 69). 3 circular diagrams in black and red (ff. 86v, 87 (x2)). Large red initials with blue pen-flourishing and blue initials with red pen-flourishing, a few with faces inserted in the bowls (e.g., ff. 11v, 97v). Smaller initials in red with blue penwork decoration and in blue with red penwork decoration. Plain initials in red or blue. Rubrics in red. Capitals marked in red.
Dimensions in mm 335 x 235 (235 x 155) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 97 (+ 2 unfoliated paper and 2 parchment flyleaves at the beginning + 1 unfoliated parchment and 2 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather with gold tooling.
Provenance Possibly writtten in Crema, Lombardy: inscribed, 'Al mastre chelle scrips a lui don dieu pris et honor. Car il est dun bon chastel de crema qi est molt bon et bel' (f. 97v).
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; sold to Harley on 18 January 1723/4 (see 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 ‘18 die Januarij, A.D. 1723/4’ (f. [iii]).
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 f. [98] is a ruled parchment leaf.
Horizontal catchwords in simple decorative frames.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4361.

H. L. D. Ward and J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, pp. 911-12.

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. 244 n. 5.

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. 254.


Images
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King Boctus

f. 7
King Boctus

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