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Precious Gospels of Bernward (front and back covers)

German (Hildesheim)

Not on view

Bishop Bernward donated this gospel book with its elaborate cover of precious materials to the abbey of Saint Michael in Hildesheim. The central ivory plaque, taken from a prestigious Byzantine triptych, depicts Christ flanked by Mary and John. The cover’s renewal in the late twelfth century, probably to secure or commemorate Bernward’s canonization, added the gilded silver crucifix and symbols of the Evangelists, antique intaglios, and precious and semiprecious stones.

Precious Gospels of Bernward (front and back covers), Covers: silver, gilded silver with niello, filigree, semiprecious stones, and late 10th-century Byzantine (Constantinople) ivory on wood foundation; Manuscript: tempera, gold, and silver on parchment, German (Hildesheim)

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