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Detailed record for Harley 928

Part 1 ff. 3v-128v 
Title Book of Hours (the 'Harley Hours'), Use of Sarum, ending imperfectly
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin and French some rubrics only
Script Gothic
Decoration 6 prefatory full-page miniatures in colours and gold, of the Nativity (f. 3v), the Visitation (f. 4), the Adoration of the Magi (f. 5v), the Presentation to the Temple (f. 7v), the Betrayal (f. 8), and the Resurrection (f. 9)).
8 historiated initials with a full bar border with foliage, dragons, and one with a dog chasing a hare (f. 10), of the martyrdom of Catherine, at Matins (f. 10), Margaret emerging from the dragon, at Lauds (f. 30), the Coronation of the Virgin, at Prime (f. 60), the martyrdom of Laurence, at Terce (f. 77v), John the Baptist and the Agnus Dei, at None (f. 83), Pentecost, at Vespers (f. 89), Pentecost, at Compline (f. 99), and a female donor kneeling before Christ, at the beginning of the Penitential Psalms (f. 107).
Large initials in colours and gold often extending into the margin, and occasionally combined with hybrid creatures, birds, or animals. Hybrid creatures, and/or animals in the lower margin of nearly every page (e.g., a cockerell (f. 14v), a bear (f. 35v), a stag (f. 40), a cat and mouse (f. 44v), a monkey (f. 45), a unicorn (f. 48), a camel (f. 55), monkeys attacking a castle (f. 97v, trimmed), a goat (f. 126)).
Large initials and line-fillers in colours and gold with foliage, animals, fish, or hybrid creatures. Smaller initials in colours and gold.
Dimensions in mm 115 x 75 (70 x 50)
 
Part 2 ff. 129-257v 
Title Office of the Dead, Use of Sarum (ff. 129-210), Commendation of the Souls (ff. 211-243v) and prayers to Christ (ff. 244-257v), beginning imperfectly
Origin England, S. E. ?
Date c. 1428
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Large initial in colours and gold combined with a full foliate border including acanthus leaves (f. 244). Champ initials with foliate feathering extending into the margin. Coloured initials in blue or red.
Dimensions in mm 115 x 75 (70 x 50)
 
Official foliation ff. 259 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 1 unfoliated unwritten paper leaf after ff. 5, 128 + 1 unfoliated unwritten ruled parchment leaf after f. 210 + 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Dark green leather with gold fillets; marbled endpapers; pastedowns bound into the new binding; edges tinted in dark green.
Provenance ff. 1-2v is a 14th-century document including a pen-drawing of a ?monstrance. ff. 258-259v may be part of the same document.

Part 1
Added text with pen-flourished initials, late 14th-early 15th century (ff. 3, 4v-5, 6-7, 8v, 9v).
Added text, post-medieval (f. 2v).

Part 2
Possibly commisioned by Ambrose de la Peerie, abbot of Glastonbury: 17th-century inscription stating he was the first owner of the book (see transcription below, f. 2v). This inscription cannot be relevant to part 1, which is of an earlier date.
George Burche (Birch?), of Ely?, 17th century: inscribed in 1607 '... As a monumente of Antiquitie for his age and ... being written as I founde his date in the yeare of grace 1428, the 16 of September in that famous Abbie of Glastonburie w[hic]h was founded by a disciple of Christ... And the first owner of this booke was Ambrose de la Peere Abbot of Glastonburie and so lett these lines p[er]suade you that I am a true p[ro]fessor of Christ Iesus Ex dono Georgij Burche de uly in Com: Glouc: Theologie 1607'.

Parts 1 and 2
Humfrey Wanley (b. 1672, d. 1726), librarian of Robert and Edward Harley, earls of Oxford: inscribed 'Humfredus Wanley (f. 1). The manuscript must have been incorporated in the Harley library in the following years.
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 f. 3 was originally blank.
Lacking folio(s) after after ff. 71 and 210.
f. 110v is blank.
Part 1 contains prefatory miniatures (ff. 3v-9), the Hours of the Virgin with suffrages after Lauds including Thomas, Stephen, Laurence and Edmund (ff. 10-105v), a suffrage to Anne (ff. 105v-106v), the Penitential Psalms followed by the litany ending imperfectly (ff. 107-128v).
Part 2 was added in the 15th century to provide texts that were lost or did not feature in the original 13th-century Book of Hours.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 928.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 6.

Georg Graf Vitzthum, Die Pariser Miniaturmalerei: von der Zeit des hl. Ludwig bis zu Philipp von Valois und ihr Verhältnis zur Malerei in Nordwesteuropa (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer), 1907), p. 91.

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London, 1911), p.188.

Eric. G. Millar, English Illuminated Manuscripts from the Xth to the XIIIth Century (Paris: Van Oest, 1926), p. 1128.

Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music: 11th - Early 14th Century, ed. by Gilbert Reaney, Répertoire international des sources musicales, BIV 1 (Munich: Henle, 1966), p. 505.

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. 341-43.

Nigel Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts, 2 vols, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 4 (London Harvey Miller, 1982-1988), II: 1250-1285, no. 185.

Adelaide Bennett, 'A Book Designed for a Noblewoman, in Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence, ed. by Linda l. Brownrigg, Proceedings of the Second Conference of The Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, July 1988 (Los Altos Hills, California: Anderson-Lovelace, 1990), pp. 1163-81 (p. 181 n. 48).

Claire Donovan, The de Brailes Hours: Shaping the Book of Hours in Thirteenth-Century Oxford (London, 1991), pp. 192-193 and passim.

John Higgitt, The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 44 n. 32, 179, 180, 182, 184, 188 n. 35.

Janet Backhouse, Illuminations from Books of Hours (London: British Library, 2004), no. 9.


Images

Part  1   ff. 3v-128v
Book of Hours (the 'Harley Hours'), Use of Sarum, ending imperfectly
* * *
 
Nativity

f. 3v
Nativity
Visitation

f. 4
Visitation
Adoration of the Magi

f. 5v
Adoration of the Magi
 
Presentation in the Temple

f. 7v
Presentation in the Temple
Betrayal

f. 8
Betrayal
Resurrection

f. 9
Resurrection
 
Catherine

f. 10
Catherine
Catherine

f. 10
Catherine
Dog chasing a hare

f. 10
Dog chasing a hare
 
Grotesque

f. 10
Grotesque
Margaret

f. 30
Margaret
Cat and mouse

f. 44v
Cat and mouse
 
Monkey

f. 45
Monkey

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