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Detailed record for Harley 4486

Title Livre de Sydrac , including a list of chapters (ff. 72v-81, in 2 columns)
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration Large puzzle initials in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the same colours extending along the text (f. 69). Numerous smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing including foliate motifs (when the page contains several initials, the pen-flourishing joins together to form a continuous border along the text). Paraphs in alternating red or blue. Line-fillers in red or blue ink. Capitals marked in red.
Dimensions in mm 255 x 170 (205 x 115)
Official foliation ff. 148 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper leaves and 1 unfoliated 17th-century paper leaf at the beginning + 2 unfoliated 17th-century paper leaves after f. 67 + 4 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1968.
Provenance Added texts and inscriptions in English and Latin, 14th-15th-century (ff. 68, 146-148).
Bound together with an unilluminated 17th-century text on paper 'Secret compendium ou Memorial final en forme de Recapitulation sur mes precedents devis & chapitres' (ff. 1-67; dated 1631 on f. 1).
Thomas Baker (b. 1656, d. 1740), nonjuring Church of England clergyman and antiquary (deprived of his fellowship at St John's, Cambridge in 1717): inscribed 'Tho: Baker' (f. 147v).
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 ‘5 septembris 1720’ (f. [iv]); no date at the beginning of part 2.
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. 68 is a medieval parchment flyleaf with various 14th-15th-century inscriptions.
ff. 68 and 148 are former pastedowns.
Catchwords. Leaf signatures.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4486.

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. 60.


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Decorated initials

f. 110
Decorated initials

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