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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Stowe 49

Author Jacobus de Voragine
Title Legenda aurea
Origin England
Date last quarter of the 13th or 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language Latin (and English in some margins)
Script Gothic
Scribe Alanus
Decoration 4 large puzzle initials in red and blue with red and blue penwork decoration and pen flourishing, the first two extending to form a partial border (ff. 2, 3, 139v, 164). Large and small initials in blue with red penwork decoration, and in red with blue penwork decoration. Small simple initials in red or blue. Paraphs in red or blue. Highlighting of letters in red. Marginal figures, heads, animals, knots, and hybrid creatures in brown or red ink, some with highlights in yellow or red. Descenders decorated with penwork decoration, or human or animal faces in brown ink, some with highlights in yellow. Catchwords decorated with heads, figures, animals, maniculae, or hybrids in brown ink. Added drawings in brown ink (f. 245).
Dimensions in mm 270 x 180 (210 x 135) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 245 (+ unfoliated paper and parchment flyleaves)
Collation iI-xix12 (ff. 2-229), xx10 (ff. 230-239), xxi five (ff. 240-244).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather with a tooled pattern around the edge; the edges of the leaves gilt.
Provenance Written by Alanus: colophon (f. 244v).
Given by Robert de Elmham, canon of the chapel of St Stephen, Westminster, to the chapel in 1358: inscription (f. 2, copied on f. 1v in a 18th-century hand).
Recipe for ink in Latin with English notes (f. 1), in a 17th-century hand.
Stephen Potts: sold to Twysden in 1626: see Ovenden.
Sir Roger Twysden (b. 1597, d. 1672), 2nd baronet, antiquary, in 1626: signature and note that he purchased the manuscript from a bookseller ('librario publico'), in Aldersgate, London, 1626 (f. 245); probably his ink foliation throughout.
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1776, d. 1839), 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos, of Stowe House, near Buckingham: inscribed with the press-mark ' Press 3 No. 34' (f. [iii] ) corresponding to his catalogue; see O’Conor 1818-1819.
Inscription '75' (f. [iii].
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1797, d. 1861), 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos: sold in 1849 to Lord Ashburnham.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1797, d. 1878), 4th earl of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham Place, Sussex.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1840, d. 1913), 5th earl of Ashburnham: purchased by the British Museum from him together with 1084 other Stowe manuscripts in 1883.
Notes Rust-stains from a chain-staple (?) at the lower edge of the front flyleaves (ff. [iii-]iv]).
Select bibliography Charles O'Conor, Bibliotheca Ms. Stowensis: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Stowe Library, 2 vols (Buckingham: Seeley, 1818-1819), II, 44-46.

Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1895-1896), I, no. 49.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 314.

Lucy Freeman Sandler, 'Pictorial and Verbal Play in the Margins: The Case of British Library, Stowe MS 49', in Illuminating the Book: Makers and Interpreters, ed. by Michelle P. Brown and Scot McKendrick (London: British Library, 1998), pp. 52-68.

John Higgitt, The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West (London: British Library, 2000), p. 155.

Alixe Bovey, Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), pp. 53-54, pl. 47.

Richard Ovenden, ‘The libraries of the antiquaries (c. 1580-1640) and the idea of a national collection’, in The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland, ed. by Elisabeth Leedham-Green and Teresa Webber, 3 vols (Cambridge: University Press, 2006), Vol I: To 1640, pp. 527-61 (p. 539).

* * *
Puzzle initial 'U'(niversum).

f. 2
Puzzle initial 'U'(niversum).
Flourished initials and marginal drawings.

ff. 120v-121
Flourished initials and marginal drawings.

f. 169
Marginal drawing

f. 220
Marginal drawing

f. 220

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