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Detailed record for Harley 3699

Author Josephus
Title De Antiquitates Judaicae and Vetustate Judaica
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 1478
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Scribe 'Omnium rerum' scribe, perhaps Neri di Filippo Rinuccini
Artists Gaspare da Padova and/or
Lauro Padovano (frontispiece, f. 1)
Decoration Architectural frontispiece with coat of arms, and an author portrait in the historiated initial (f. 1). 22 large initials with classical motifs, and partial borders with foliate decoration in colours and gold at the beginning of each book (ff. 2v, 19v, 37, 53v, 71, 89v, 110v, 132v, 156, 171v, 186v, 202, 221v, 242v, 264v, 282, 297v, 318v, 335v, 352, 363v, 376). Some borders feature coats of arms. Numerous smaller initials in gold on coloured grounds. Roman numerals and rubrics in red in the margins.
Dimensions in mm 385 x 255 (255 x 150)
Official foliation ff. 388 (+ 1 unfoliated paper and 2 parchment flyleaves at the beginning of the manuscript and at the end).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1965. Remains of Harleian binding (gold-tooled red leather) pasted on the inside covers; gilt edges.
Provenance Copied in Florence in 1478 by the 'Omnium rerum' scribe: colophon, ' Anno salutis humanae MoCCCCoLxxoviijo& xviiija mensis iunij hoc celeberrimum opus florentiae consumatum est: die autem veneris: hora vero diei xxa. Laus honor imperium & gloria sit omnipotenti Iesuchristo per infinita seculorum secula. Amen. Omnium rerum vicissitudo est' (f. 388v).
Ferdinand I of Aragon, king of Naples (b. 1423, d. 1494): his arms, which may have been added by his son, Cardinal Giovanni, and the mottos of Aragon: BIEN ELIR and POR BIEN FINIR (f. 1).
Cardinal Giovanni of Aragon (b. 1456, d. 1485): inscribed, 'card(enale)', half erased (f.[ii]), (see de la Mare, 1984, p. 273).
Rome S. Andrea [? della Valle, Rome, the mother church of the Theatines, founded 1524]: late-16th century book stamp (almost entirely effaced): 'BIBLIOTECAE S. ANDREAE ROMAE' (f. 1)
John Wright, librarian to George Henry Hay, 7th Earl of Kinnoull and husband of Abigail, youngest daughter of Robert Harley: sold by him to Harley on 24 June 1723 (see Diary).
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 ‘24 die Junij, A.D. 1723’ (f. [ii]).
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 The manuscript was copied in Florence and illuminated in Rome.
The miniaturist, Gaspare da Padova, also known as the Master of the Vatican Homer, worked for various patrons, including Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga (d. 1483) and Cardinal Giovanni of Aragon (d. 1485). He was active in Rome from 1466/67 to 1493. The frontispiece has been attributed to Lauro Padovano ( Bauer-Eberhardt, 1989, no. 16, pl. 18).
The scribe who copied this manuscript is known as the 'Omnium rerum' scribe because of his use of the motto: 'Omnium rerum vicissitudo est' (de la Mare 1984). There are 24 manuscripts with the same motto by the same scribe, including Harley 3485 and 4965. On the identification of the 'Omnium rerum' scribe with Neri Rinuccini (b. 1435, d. 1506), younger brother of humanist Alamanno Rinuccini, see de la Mare 1984, pp. 262-63; de la Mare 1985..
Vertical catchwords.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3699.

Giuseppe Mazzatinti, La biblioteca dei Re d'Aragona in Napoli (Rocca S. Casciano: Licinio Cappelli, 1897), no. 566.

Tammaro De Marinis, La biblioteca napoletana dei re d’Aragona 4 vols. (Milan, 1947-1952) II, p. 88.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 417 n. 6.

J. J. G. Alexander and A. C. de la Mare, The Italian Manuscripts in the Library of Major J. R. Abbey (London: Faber and Faber, 1969), p. 108, no. 9.

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. 150, 289, 363.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (p. 472).

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 781.

Albinia C. de la Mare, ‘The Florentine scribes of Cardinal Giovanni of Aragona’ in Il libro e il testo, atti del convegno internazionale, Urbino, 20-23 settembre 1982, ed. by C. Questa and R. Raffaelli (Urbino: Università delgi studi di Urbino, 1984), pp. 245-93 (pp. 253-54, 258, 272-73, 290, pls. 2, 3).

Albinia de la Mare, 'New Research on Humanistic Scribes in Florence', in Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1440-1525: un primo censimento, ed. by Annarosa Garzelli, 2 vols, ([Florence]: Giunta regionale toscana, 1985), I, pp. 395-574 (p. 522).

Ulrike Bauer-Eberhardt, ‘Lauro Padovano und Leonardo Bellini als Maler, Miniatoren und Zeichner’, Pantheon: Internationale Jahreszeitschrift für Kunst, 47 (1989), 49-82 (no. 16, pl. 30).

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. 175.

Thomas Haffner, Die Bibliothek des Kardinals Giovanni d’Aragona (1456-1485): Illuminierte Handschriften und Inkunabeln für einen humanistischen Bibliophilen zwischen Neapel und Rom (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1997), pp. 202-10.

G. Toscano, ‘Gaspare da Padova e la diffusione della miniatura "all’antica" tra Roma e Napoli’ in Parole dipinte: La miniatura a Padova dal Medioevo al Settecento, ed. by G. Baldissin Molli and others (Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 1999), p. 527.

Dizionario biografico dei miniatori italiani: Secoli IX-XVI , ed. by Milvia Bollati (Milan: Sylvestre Bonnard, 2004), p. 255.

* * *

f. 1
Arms of Aragon

f. 1
Arms of Aragon
Faceted initial

f. 53v
Faceted initial
Faceted initial

f. 71
Faceted initial
Faceted initial

f. 132v
Faceted initial
Faceted initial

f. 221v
Faceted initial

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