Gospel Book

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MS M.492
Gospel Book
San Benedetto Po, Italy, between 1075 and 1099.
English 19th-century olive morocco gilt to an Eve design by Charles Lewis (1786-1836) for Theodore Williams (initials T.W. encircled by a belt inscribed "Deus alit me" and surmounted by helmet and mantling with the Williams crest, a Cornish chough on upper cover); Williams arms on lower cover (argent three crescents or on a fess gueles between three Cornish choughs, in center-chief a spear-head, together with crest and motto), olive morocco doublures, in gilt and silver marbled paper case by Marguerite Duprez Lahey.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1912.
106 leaves (1 column, 38 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 333 x 226 mm
Commissioned by Countess Matilda of Tuscany as a gift to the monastery of San Benedetto in Polirone; owned in 1713 by Giovanni Battista Racanati (d. 1735) who bequeathed it to San Benedetto in Polirone at his death; at Polirone from 1734 until 1796; taken in 1804 by Abbot Mauro Mari (d. 1814), fleeing Napoleon's troops, to Santa Justina at Padua; his brother, Don Giuseppe Mari; Luigi Celotti of Venice (1789-1846); Rev. Theodore Williams; his sale (London, Stewart, Wheatley and Adlard, Apr. 10, 1827 (6th day sale), lot 749) to Singer for Sir Thomas Phillipps (Phillipps no. 3500); purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from the Phillipps estate through Quaritch in 1912; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Ms. Gospel book; written and illuminated at the monastery of San Benedetto in Polirone, Italy, at the end of the 11th century.
Includes the Liber vitae of the monastery of San Benedetto in Polirone (fol. 102-106); this Liber vitae was commissioned by Abbot Wilhelmus (abbot 1080-1099), or his successor as abbot, to honor Matilda, Countess of Tuscany (Contessa Matilde di Canossa); Pope Urban II; Hugh, abbot of Cluny; and members of the Gonzaga family (fol. 102-103v). It includes a document dated Apr. 8, 1109 and issued by the Abbot Albericus (abbot 1099-1123) commemorating the obligation of San Benedetto in Polirone to the countess and to Arduino della Palude (Arduino da Palude), her captain (fol. 104v-105) and a closing testimonial by Abbot Henricus to Aurio Dandali (fol. 106)--Cf. PPM files.
Decoration: 6 full-page and 6 smaller miniatures, 4 incipit pages, 7 canon tables.