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Detailed record for Harley 4923

Author Various authors including Jerome , Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Petrarch translated by Guarino da Verona and by Niccoló Perotti, Giovanni Boccaccio, Marcus Tullius Cicero
Title Various texts including lives of saints (Malachi: ff. 1-4, Paul: ff. 4-8), Jerome's Epistulae, Regula monachorum (ff. 12v-30v), De viris illustribus (ff. 74-91), De liberis educandis (ff. 250-258v), De claris mulieribus (ff. 374v-446v), Somnium Scipionis (ff. 456-458v), etc.
Origin Italy, N. E. (?Ferrara)
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Decoration 2 large initials in gold and colours with pen-flourishing in brown ink, besants and foliate decoration extending in the margins (ff. 1, 250). Numerous initials in blue with red and/or pen-flourishing or in red with purple pen-flourishing including foliate motifs. A few coloured initials in blue ink.
Dimensions in mm 295 x 205 (215 x 125)
Official foliation ff. 482 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding Post-1600. BM/BL in-house. Edges tinted blue.
Provenance 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 Watermark visible (f. [483]).
The initials are painted in a Ferrarese style according to unpublished notes of A. C. de la Mare at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4923.

Dean P. Lockwood, 'De Rinucio Aretino Graecarum Litterarum Interprete', Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 24 (1913), 51-109 (pp. 59, 98, 103).

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 182.

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Decorated initial

f. 250
Decorated initial

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