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Detailed record for Harley 6348

Author Petrarch ; Giovanni Boccaccio; Johannes Stella
Title Various works, including Invective contra medicum; Secretum; De vita solitaria; De mulieribus claris; Oda ad Iacobum de Laude super cessatione epidemie in patria Ianuensi
Origin Italy
Date Last quarter of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Written by several scribes
Decoration Sketches in brown ink, in the lower margins, of the Crucifixion and a bull's head (ff. 44v, 53v). 12 large puzzle initials in red and blue (ff. 2, 9v, 14, 19, 24, 57, 68v, 73, 86v, 98v, 125, 140v). Alternating large initials in blue with red pen-flourishing, and in red with blue pen-flourishing. Numerous smaller initials in the same style. Rubrics, incipits, and explicits in red. Alternating blue and red initials for the protagonists of the Secretum (ff. 57-72v ).
Dimensions in mm ff. 355 x 250 ( 250 x 165) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 1* + 2* + 156 (+ 1 unfoliated paper + 1 parchment flyleaf at the beginning + 1 paper flyleaf after ff. 1* and 2* and 1 unfoliated parchment + 2 paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Mottled brown calf over wooden boards; initials 'M.B' in gold on the front cover.
Provenance Giovanni Stella (b. 1380- d. c. 1435), humanist and chancellor of the Genoese republic: inscribed, 'Io. Stella' (f. 86r).
Bernaclus, monk, 15th century: note recording his gift of the manuscript to Modinus, inscribed: 'xxvi s viii d [a price] Modini sum ex dono Bernacli monachi' (f. 156).
Modinus, 15th century (see above).
Annotations in various Gothic and Humanistic hands of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Thomas Laront, early 16th century, inscribed: 'Thomas Larant ow[ns] this booke / Whoso ever on me doth loke' (f. 2*).
Henry Strafford, 16th century: his name (inked out) (f. 2*).
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 ff. 1*, 2* are paper flyleaves.
ff. [ii], [157] are parchment folios from a 15th-century manuscript with initials in colours and gold and musical notation.
Framed horizontal catchwords. Ruled in brown ink.
Several different scribes copied this manuscript and the rubrication and decoration is incomplete.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 6348.

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. 72, 216, 241, 320.

Nicholas Mann, Petrarch Manuscripts in the British Isles, Censimento dei Codici Petrarcheschi, 6 (Padova: Editrice Antenore, 1975), no. 123.

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. 188.

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Puzzle initial

f. 24
Puzzle initial

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