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MS M.710
Weingarten, Germany, 1215-1217.
Original German gilt silver and jeweled book cover attached to compartmented wooden board; ornamented with figures of the Virgin and saints in high relief; possibly containing saint's relics.
Purchased by J.P. Morgan (1867-1943), 1926.
165 leaves (1 column, 22 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 293 x 204 mm
Made for Berthold, abbot of the Benediktinerabtei Weingarten (abbacy 1200-1232); included on list of Weingarten Treasury manuscripts in 1753; sent to the abbey of St. Peter's, Salzburg for safekeeping in 1796; requisitioned by Frederick Wilhelm of Orange Nassau in 1805 and sent to Fulda; removed from Fulda by the French town-major Niboyet in 1806; purchased by Thomas William Coke, later 1st Earl of Leicester, through Delehante and H. Phillips in 1818 (given the shelfmark Holkham Hall Ms 37); second Earl of Leicester; purchased by J.P. Morgan (1867-1943) from the third Earl of Leicester in 1926.

Ms. sacramentary; written and illuminated at the Benediktinerabtei Weingarten between 1215 and 1217.
Musical notation: staveless; neumes on fol. 14v.
Decoration: 21 full-page, 5 half-page, and 2 small miniatures; 6 full-page illuminated texts; 19 historiated initials; numerous decorated initials; many with gold- and silver-leaf, some highly burnished.
Textiles: protective curtains over some of the initials and miniatures.
The manuscript contains numerous emroidered repairs.
Artist: Master of the Berthold Sacramentary.


The Berthold Sacramentary, the masterpiece of Weingarten illumination, is the finest, most luxurious German manuscript of the time. A major monument of Romanesque art, the book retains its original jeweled binding. The cover is dominated by a silver-gilt high relief figure of the Virgin and Child, anchored by a framed cross. Surrounding the Virgin, whose prominence reflects her important cult in Weingarten, are twelve repoussé figures identified by inscriptions: the four Evangelists, the archangels Michael and Gabriel, the virtues Virginity and Humility, SS. Oswald and Martin (patron saints), St. Nicholas, and Abbot Berthold himself.