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Book Cover Plaque
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Book Cover Plaque

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This elaborate, enameled plaque was once attached to the cover of a Gospel book or a lectionary, a manuscript containing passages from the four Gospels arranged to be read throughout the year. At the center, Christ is flanked by the Virgin and St. John. Adam's skull, below, symbolizes the salvation of mankind through Christ's crucifixion on Golgotha, the reputed site of Adam's grave.
  • The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D.. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1957-1958.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Songs of Glory: Medieval Art from 900-1500. Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City. 1985.
Provenance Frédéric Spitzer, Paris, by purchase; Sale, Paul Chevallier and Charles Mannheim, Paris, April 17, 1893, no. 256; Léguillon, Paris, by purchase; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 9, 1895, no. 7; Heinrich Wencke, Hamburg, by purchase; Sale, J. M. Heberle, Cologne, October 27, 1898, no. 130; Dimitri Schevitch, Madrid, by purchase; Sale, Galerie George Petit, Paris, April 4, 1906, no. 183; Jacques Seligmann, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, May 16, 1906, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions Text in gilded copper on cross above Christ's head: I H S/ X P~S; [Transcription] IH[ESU]S CHR[ISTU]S; [Translation] Jesus Christ. In this inscription, the titulus (the long horizontal mark indicating an abbreviation) has an unusual placement between the P and the S to abbreviate the initials XPS for Christ.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1906

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13th century (Medieval)
champlevé enamel on gilded copper, semiprecious stones
Accession Number
12 7/16 x 8 1/4 x 1 in. (31.6 x 20.9 x 2.5 cm)

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