THE LIESBORN GOSPELS

MS 40
MS Short Title THE LIESBORN GOSPELS
Text
  1. Bible: Gospels with 8 Prologues, Capitula, Canon Tables and Capitulary
  2. Sancte Senex Symeon Domini Dilate Responso, Poem in Hexameter for Abbess Berthild
Description MS in Latin on vellum, Germany, 3rd quarter of 10th c., 169 ff. (complete), 31x24 cm, single column, (25x17 cm), 24 lines in Carolingian minuscule by the scribe Gerwardus who signs in cipher "Gfrxxb'rd", 5 pages with tituli in large square capitals and 4 very large initials decorated in Ottonian style with leafy scrolls and interlace in red and yellow, 13 pages of Canon tables in arcades with some decoration in red and yellow, 12th c. circular diagram demonstrating the way to salvation within a series of concentric circles and radials, 12th c. small drawing of a bust-length man.
Binding Liesborn, Germany, late 15th c., upper cover of thick oak board with recessed carved relief of the Crucifixion and the 4 Evangelists' symbols, gesso with polychromy and a punch and gilded decoration, lower cover of reddish-brown sheep over thick wooden board, blindtooling to be assigned to the "Hauptwerkstatt" bindery at Liesborn, 5 brass bosses, sewn on 4 thongs.
Provenance 1. Nunnery of St. Symeon, Liesborn, Germany (10th c.-1131); 2. Benedictine Abbey of SS. Cosmas, Damian and Symeon, Liesborn, Germany (1131-1803); 3. University Library at Münster, Germany (1803-1826); 4. Professor Ludwig Tross, Hamm, Westphalia (1826-1830); 5. Sir Thomas Phillipps, Cheltenham, Ph 4735 (1830-1872); 6. Katharine, John, Thomas & Alan Fenwick, Cheltenham (1872-); 7. Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, Philadelphia (1930's- 1950); 8. Countess Estelle Doheny, Camarillo, California (1950-1958); 9. St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, The Archdiocese of Los Angeles (1958-1987); 10. Christie's 2.12.1987:139; 11. De-accessioned to Sam Fogg, July 2008.
Commentary A signed Carolingian Gospels with a rather unique dedicatory poem and in a 15th c. binding, carved to substitute the original gold or silver and ivory treasure binding, which probably was lost during war-time. The only MS surviving from the period Liesborn was a Nunnery (ca. 800-1131). It is listed in the library catalogue from 1219, last mentioned in the 1795 catalogue. Further there is a 14th or 15th c. ownership inscription of the Abbey. Published: Eef Overgaauw and Bennie Priddy: Das Liesborner Evangeliar, The Schøyen Collection, Oslo/London, MS 40. Museum Abtei Liesborn, Warendorf 2003. (Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection, vol. 9) Mentioned in: Catalogue of Books & Manuscripts in the Estelle Doheny Collection. Part 2. Los Angeles 1946,p. 4. & Helmut Müller: Das Bistum Münster 5, das Kanonissestift und Benediktiner Kloster Liesborn; in: Germania Sacra, Neue Folge 23, die Bistümer der Kirchenprovinz Köln. Berlin 1987, p. 40. & R.P. Bernardi Wittii: Historia antiquae occidentalis Saxoniae, sec nunc Westphaliae, Monasterii Westpalorum 1778, p. 753.
Exhibited 1. Conference of European National Librarians, Oslo. Sept. 1994; 2. Museum Abtei Liesborn, 30. March 11. Mai 2003; 3. Klostersturm und Fürsten Revolution, in Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, 24. May - 17. August 2003.
Place of origin Germany
Dates 3rd quarter 10c AD

Location