Golden Gospels of Henry VIII

Accession number: 
MS M.23
Golden Gospels of Henry VIII
Between 977 and 993.
Red morocco gilt, English 18th century, with elaborate wide dentelle border comprised of small stylized acorns, thistles, and daisies; the design reflects the influence of Roger Payne; comb marbled end papers; around the edges in large gold Roman capitals is the inscription: INTVS/ORNATIOR QUAM/FORIS; in maroon slip case.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1900.
144 leaves (2 columns, 30 lines), bound : purple vellum, ill. ; 365 x 270 mm
Perhaps made for the coronation of Otto III in 983; King Henry VIII (No. 957 in the 1542 inventory of Henry VIII's Upper Library at Winchester Palace; according to one tradition, presented to Henry by Pope Leo X in 1521, when he conferred upon him the title of "Defender of the Faith"); in 1747 in the Bibliotheca Palmeriana, the library of Ralph Palmer of Little Chelsea, grandfather of the first Earl Verney(erased inscription reads Bibliotheca Palmeriana 1747); bought in 1800 for the Duke of Hamilton; Duke of Hamilton Collection, inv. no. 167; (Hamilton Palace Library, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland); sold privately in 1883 with the Hamilton Collection to the Royal Museum of Berlin (The Hamilton Palace Libraries, Catalogue of the Hamilton Collection of Manuscripts, 1882, no. 25); resold with a portion of the Hamilton Collection returned from Berlin (London, Sotheby's, May 23, 1889, lot 1) to Quaritch); sold (May 26, 1890) by Quaritch (catalogue 99, Sept. 1889, p. 37-39, no. 359, (Hand-list, 1890, no. 1) to Theodore Irwin of Oswego; purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) with the Irwin Collection in 1900; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Ms. Gospel book; written and decorated in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Maximin at Trier during the abbacy of Archbishop Egbert (977-993).
Scribes: written by at least sixteen scribes.
Decoration: vellum colored various shades of purple (with dye made from berries) from mauve to slate blue; gold letters; small gold trilobe fleurons used as line fillers on fol. 38, 110v, and 135v; coat of arms of England added on fol. 1v in the 16th century.