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Detailed record for Harley 3925

Author Marcus Tullius Cicero; Pseudo-Cicero
Title De inventione ; Rhetorica ad Herennium
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 1431
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Scribe Perhaps Luigi Piero Guicciardini
Decoration 6 large white vine initials in blue, yellow, and gold; some damaged (ff. 1, 44v, 95, 107v, 131, 148v ). Smaller initials in blue and red.
Dimensions in mm 190 x 130 (120 x 75)
Official foliation ff. 188 (+ 3 unfoliated paper and 2 parchment flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Luigi Piero Guicciardini, son of Dom. Luigi de Guicciardenis of Florence: inscribed 'Marci Tullii Ciceronis Rethoricorum liber explicit v. idus Decembris...Hic liber est Loysij Petri Domini Loysij de Guicciardinis de Florentia sub annis nostri salvatoris XXXI tempore pape Eugenij iiij' (f. 94); and the initials: 'Li. Lo. P. De. G.' (f. 188v). Written for, and possibly by, Luigi Piero Guicciardini, according to unpublished notes of A. C. de la Mare at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Edward Harley on 9 November 1721, but the manuscript is not inscribed as usual with the date by Humfrey Wanley (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.
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 Ruled in hardpoint.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3925.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 121 n. 11.

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. 163, 172.

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. 465).

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. 793.

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. 177.


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White vine initial

f. 44v
White vine initial

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