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Detailed record for Harley 4372

Author Valerius Maximus, translated by Simon de Hesdin and Nicolas de Gonesse
Title Les Fais et les Dis des Romains et de autres gens , vol. 1
Origin France, N. W., Normandy (possibly Rouen)
Date c. 1460-1487
Language French
Script Gothic cursive (Bâtarde)
Artists In the style of the Master of the Echevinage de Rouen
Decoration 5 large miniatures in colours and gold at the beginning of each book surrounded by a full border with acanthus leaves, flowers, fruits and gold leaves on unpainted ground (ff. 12, 79v, 140, 182, 215v). The borders contain the arms of Louis, bâtard de Bourbon, 2 figures with a mortar and pestle, and an angel (f. 12), a mermaid and a peacock (f. 79v), hybrid creatures (f. 140), a hybrid creature on crutches with a begging bowl by a vine (f. 182), a man aiming with bow and arrow, and a hybrid creature holding a censer and with a bucket hanging from his tail (f. 215v). Partial border in colours and gold with acanthus leaves, flowers, fruits and ivy on unpainted ground (f. 1). Large decorated initial with pink acanthus, gems, and flowers on gold ground (f. 12). Large initials in gold and colours with tendrils of gold leaves and flowers extending in the margins. Large initials in red ink with elaborate cadels including scrollwork and leaves used for important rubrics (ff. 79, 139v, 215). Smaller initials in red with brown penwork decoration and a yellow wash. Initials in colours and gold. Capitals marked with yellow. Some ascenders, descenders and catchwords decorated with cadels in brown ink with a yellow wash. Line-fillers in blue and red ink (ff. 1-11 only), or in gold, blue and red.
Dimensions in mm 480 x 355 (330 x 205), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 246 (+ 2 modern unfoliated parchment and 1 paper flyleaves at the beginning + 2 modern unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Gold-stamped red leather, gilt edges.
Provenance Probably made for Louis, bâtard de Bourbon, count of Roussillon, admiral of France (d. 19 January 1487): his arms (f. 12).
Charles Davis (bap. 1693, d. 1755), bookseller, an apprentice to the London bookseller Nathaniel Noel: sold to the Harleys on 24 January 1722/3 (see Diary 1966; Wright 1972 where a mistake is made in the date).
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 Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Including a table of rubrics for each book (ff. 1-11), and books 1-5.
This text was originally bound as one single volume. A folio was discarded when the manuscript was divided into two volumes probably in the 17th century. It was replaced by two folios written in a 17th century hand, retaining the original initials by pasting them in the appropriate locations (the recto of the lost folio containing the end of book 5 was copied on f. 215 in the present manuscript, and the verso containing the beginning of book 6. on f. 1v of Harley 4373). This folio was discarded intentionally so that volume 1 could neatly end with book 5 and volume 2 start with book 6.
Leaf signatures. Catchwords.
Repairs to the vellum carefully made (e. g. ff. 43, 79).
Vol. 2 is now Harley 4373.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4372.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Ilustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 18.

F. Saxl and H. Meier, Catalogue of Astrological and Mythological Illuminated Manuscripts of the Latin middle Ages, III : Manuscripts in English Libraries, (London: British Museum, 1953), pp. 168-69.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 186 n. 1.

Robert H. Lucas, 'Mediaeval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500', Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 45-2 (1970), 225-53 (p. 247).

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. 125.

Edmund A. Bowles, 'A Checklist of Musical Instruments in Fifteenth Century Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Museum', Notes, 29-4 (1973), 694-703 (pp. 697, 701, 702).

Dorothy M. Schullian, ‘A Revised List of Manuscripts of Valerius Maximus’, Miscellanea Augusto Campana. Medioevo e Umanesimo 45 (1981), 695-728 (p. 708).

Claudia Rabel, 'Artiste et clientèle à la fin du Moyen Age : les manuscrits profanes du Maître de l’échevinage de Rouen', Revue de l’art, 84 (1989), 48-60 (p. 56).

'M. Valerius Maximus. Factorum et dictorum memorabilium libri novem: Traduction de Simon de Hesdin et Nicolas de Gonesse (1375-1401)', in Frédéric Duval and Jeanne Viellard, Miroir des classiques 17 (Éditions en ligne de l'École des chartes) [http://elec.enc.sorbonne.fr/miroir/valeremaxime/traduction/?para=Hesdin_Gonesse] [accessed 07 November 2007].


Images
* * *
 
Monk presenting book

f. 12
Monk presenting book
Monk presenting book

f. 12
Monk presenting book
Procession with a king

f. 79v
Procession with a king
 
Procession with a king

f. 79v
Procession with a king
Mermaid

f. 79v
Mermaid
Column border

f. 140
Column border
 
Idol

f. 140
Idol
Emperor

f. 182
Emperor
Banquet

f. 215v
Banquet
 

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