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Detailed record for Harley 2461

Author Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Title Tragoediae
Origin Italy, Central (San Casciano?)
Date between 1416 and 1417
Language Latin
Script Humanistic cursive
Scribe Ser Niccolò Berti Martine de Gentiluccis; connected with Dominicus Christophori (Carrolus) Brasichillensis (see de la Mare 1985)
Decoration A full-page drawing in brown ink of a crenellated building (f. 148v). 1 large initial in blue with red penwork decoration (f. 1). 9 large blue initials (f. 22v, 53, 76, 95v, 117, 136v, 156, 175, 213). Smaller alternating blue or red initials. Rubrics, incipits, explicits, and protagonists' names in red.
Dimensions in mm 280 x 215 (200 x 90)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 217 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 3 unfoliated paper + 1 parchment + 4 modern paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; rebound in 1971.
Provenance Written by Ser Niccolò Berti Martine de Gentiluccis of S. Gimignano (b. c.1389, d. 1468): colophon, 'Liber explicit per me Niccolaum bertj de gentiluçis de sancto germiniano notarium florentinum. Scriptus dum essem cum potestate Sancti Casssianj inceptus die vo mensis decenbris MCCCCXVj et finitus die ijo februarij dicti anni. Deo gratias. Amen.' (f. 212).
(Ser) Dominicus Christophori (Carrolus) Brasichillensis: inscribed: 'Jacopo di ser domenicho da brassichella' (f. [221]); some annotations possibly by him (see discussion de la Mare 1985).
Conyers Middleton (b. 1683, d. 1750), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1706, head librarian of the University Library at Cambridge (1721-50); sold on 25 February 1724/5 (Wright 1972; Diary 1966).
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 ‘25 die februarij, A.D. 1724/5’ (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 Horizontal catchwords.
f. 1* is a parchment flyleaf.
ff. 65v, 66 are blank, apart from the running header and 15th-century foliation in red.
By the same scribe as Harley 3445 (written in 1448), and probably Burney 289 (written in 1427) (Watson, 1979).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2461

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. 342 n. 1.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 239.

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), I, no. 649.

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. 471).

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. 491).

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. 158.


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