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Detailed record for Harley 4417

Author Anonymous; Huon de Mery
Title Livre de Sydrac (ff. 11-141v); Huon de Mery's Le tournoiement Antechrist (ff. 142-170)
Origin France, N.
Date 2nd half of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration 6 column miniatures in colours and gold (ff. 11, 27, 46, 63v, 76, 122v). Large initial with a dragon and foliage extending into a partial bar border ending in ivy tendrils with a grotesque (f. 142). Large puzzle initial in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the same colours (f. 27). Initials in red with dark blue or grey (or faded blue) pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing (occasionally with reserved designs in the shape of hybrid creatures (e.g., ff. 46, 54v). Coloured initials in red or blue.
Dimensions in mm 330 x 230 (205 x 170), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 170 (+ 3 unfoliated paper and 1 unfoliated ruled parchment leaf at the beginning + 1 unfoliated ruled parchment leaf after f. 141 + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves and 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Marbled endpapers.
Provenance Added table of contents, late 14th century (ff. 1-7v), to complete the original one (ff. 8-11). A few chapter titles are still missing (chapter 380-387, which are included in the main text).
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 Edward Harley on 18 January 1723/4 (Wright 1972; 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.
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. 170v is blank. f. [172] is a former pastedown.
Catchwords written horizontally.
Written in a Picard dialect.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4417.

H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Library (London: British Museum, 1883), I, pp. 908-09.

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. 265 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. 253-54.


Images
* * *
 
King Boctus and Sydrac

f. 11
King Boctus and Sydrac
Bishop and Peter

f. 27
Bishop and Peter
Boat

f. 46
Boat
 
King Boctus and Sydrac

f. 63v
King Boctus and Sydrac
King Boctus and Sydrac

f. 76
King Boctus and Sydrac
King Boctus and Sydrac

f. 122v
King Boctus and Sydrac
 
Grotesque

f. 142
Grotesque

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