You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Harley 3978

Part 1 ff. 1-158v 
Title Psalter (without calendar), followed by 'Le Mireoir du Monde' (ff. 153v-158v)
Origin France, N. E.
Date 2nd half of the 14th century
Language French and Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Large initials in gold and colours with ivy tendrils extending into the margins to form a full border (f. 7) or a partial border (ff. 27, 40, 49v, 50, 62, 75v, 88, 102). Initials in colours and gold. Coloured initials and paraphs in red or blue. Capitals marked in red.
Dimensions in mm 225 x 145 (155 x 100)
 
Part 2 ff. 6, 15, 24, 26v, 33, 35, 52, 61v, 70, 79v, 96, 105, 113 
Title Added miniatures
Origin France, N. E.
Date 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language French and Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Miniatures in colours and gold (Annunciation (f. 6v), Adoration of the Magi (f. 15v), Massacre of the Innocents (f. 24), Baptism of Christ (f. 26v), Taking of Christ (f. 33), Entry into Jerusalem (f. 35), Christopher (f. 52), Stoning of Stephen (f. 61v), Julian (f. 70), Raising of Lazarus (f. 79v), Martyrdom of Laurence (f. 96), Fiacre healing the diseased (f. 105), Anthony of Padua (f. 113v)), followed by a few (added) lines introduced by an initial in colours and gold with ivy tendrils extending into the margins (including a face on f. 24, and a bird head on f. 52).
Dimensions in mm 225 x 145
 
Official foliation ff. 1* + 158 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 1 unfoliated ruled parchment leaf and 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Humfrey Wanley (b. 1672, d. 1726), Old English scholar, palaeographer, and librarian of Robert and Edward Harley, earls of Oxford: inscribed 'Liber Humfredi Wanley. 8vo die Junij A.D. 1715' (f. 1*).
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 ‘22 August 1715’ (f. 1*).
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 Including the Psalms in French in numerical order with weekday divisions, followed by canticles (and various standard texts), lessons and responses for the Office of the dead, a prayer to Christ, prayer of St. Anselm, and 'Le Mireoir du monde' (beginning 'Ie vois morir venes avant').
Written in a dialect that replaces the 'c' sound by 'ch', as in 'cheulx' rather than 'ceulx' (?Picardie).
f. 1* is a ruled parchment leaf.
f. [159] is a former pastedown.
Each Psalm in French is preceded by a rubric with the incipit in Latin.
Miniatures are painted on separate folios, with the other side left blank and each miniature is preceded by a title in French and followed by a short prayer in Latin introduced by a decorated initial (these few lines and the introducing initial seem to have been added later, in the late 14th century).
Catchwords written horizontally.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3978.

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. 8.

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. 15 n. 2.

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. 341-44.


Images

Part  2   ff. 6, 15, 24, 26v, 33, 35, 52, 61v, 70, 79v, 96, 105, 113
Added miniatures
* * *
 
Miniature

f. 6v
Miniature

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back