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Detailed record for Harley 3480

Author Catherine of Siena
Title Lettere di Caterina da Siena
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Italian and Latin (a few rubrics only)
Script Humanistic
Decoration White vine initial in colours and gold (f. 2). Coloured initials in blue. Paraphs in blue
Dimensions in mm 290 x 215 (190 x 135), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 160 (+ 1 unfoliated paper and 1 parchment flyleaves at the beginning + 2 unfoliated parchment ruled leaves after f. 159 + 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the end)
Collation In quires of 10.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Inscribed '140' (ff. 159v, 160).
A monastic library founded or endowed by the Guicciardini (see Wright 1972).
Flyleaves with inscriptions in Italian, ?17th-century (ff. 1, 160).
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Harley on 13 February 1723/4 (see Diary 1966; Wright 1972).
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 '13 die Februarij 1723/4' (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 Begins: 'Incipiunt epistole gloriose virginis beatissime k[a]terine desenis recollecte per reverendum in christo p[at]rem do[mi]num stephanum de senis priore[m] monasterii sancte Marie de gratiis p[...]pe papiam ordinis cartuse. Questo fu nellanno Mccclxxvi laquale io scripsi' (f. 2).
ff. 1 and 160 are former pastedowns with later inscriptions in Italian.
ff. [159a] and [159b] are ruled unwritten leaves.
Catchwords written horizontally.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3480.

Edmund G. Gardner, Saint Catherine of Siena: A Study in the Religion, Literature, and History of the Fourteenth Century in Italy (London: J.M. Dent, 1907), pp. xii, 407-11, etc. (transcriptions of letters and reproductions of some folios).

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 216 n. 12.

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. 162, 173-74.

The Letters of Catherine of Siena, vol 1, trans. by Susan Noffke, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 202, 203, 329, 355 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000-2008), p. 327.

Robert Fawtier, Sainte Catherine de Sienne: essai de critique des sources: Les oeuvres de Sainte Catherine de Sienne, Bibliothe`que des E´coles Francaises d’Athe`nes et de Rome, 135 (Paris: Boccard, 1930), p. 41.

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White vine initial

f. 2
White vine initial

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