St. Gall, Switzerland, between 880 and 899.
Front cover is one of most important extant medieval jeweled bindings; one of 3 contemporary pieces of Carolingian goldsmiths' work ascribed to the so-called court school of Emperor Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne, executed ca. 880; decoration is dominated by a large gold repoussé figure of Christ crucified on a jeweled cross, 10 other repoussé figures in mourning poses within 4 surrounding quadrants; a raised jeweled border runs around this configuration; back cover was made probably in or around Salzburg, 750-800, executed in gilt silver, enamel, decorated with jewels; date and origin of this cover are uncertain because its components point to different times and places. The front and back book covers are attached to wooden boards. Patterned Byzantine silk doublures inside front cover and patterned Islamic silk doublures inside back cover, ca. 8th-10th century. Library also has a replica of the back cover (cataloged separately).
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901.
224 leaves (1 column, 21 lines), bound : vellum (some purple), ill. ; 320 x 253 mm
Owned in the 16th century by the abbey of aristocratic canonesses of Our Lady under the Lindens, at Lindau, an island in Lake Constance; at the secularization of the abbey in 1803 the Gospels were given to Canoness Antoinette, Baroness von Enzberg; on her death her heirs sold it to Baron Josef von Lassberg, who sold it in 1846 to Henry G. Bohn, agent for the Earl of Ashburnham; the Earl of Ashburnham; on the recommendation of Junius S. Morgan (1867-1932) purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901 from the Earl of Ashburnham heirs; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).