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See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence
Feel free to judge these books by their covers.

There are treasures to be found inside many medieval manuscripts, from pointing hands to menageries of misshapen animals and sword-wielding rabbits. But in rare instances, there is actual treasure as well. Pearls, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and precious metals adorn the covers of a few luxurious texts, some of which are are currently on display at New York’s Morgan Library and Museum.

One particularly notable example on display is the Lindau Gospels, dating to ninth-century France. The intricate metalwork on the back cover only hints at the extravagance of the front cover, which was made nearly a century later. Jewels line the edges and sit on raised clawed legs around a repoussé (metal worked on the reverse side to create an image in relief) figure of Christ. The elevation of the jewel clusters has a practical purpose as well as an aesthetic one; it protects the rest of the cover when the book is open.

In the medieval period, monks usually produced books, but with treasure binding—as this practice is known—metalworkers were employed to emboss patterns of silver and gold and set precious stones. Either the very wealthy or the very pious (or both) commissioned the books, but in the case of the Lindau Gospels, it’s unclear who requested the lavish tome.

A handful of libraries around the world hold such books, but not many treasure-bound manuscripts have survived the centuries. The exhibition brings together the Morgan’s collection, and includes illustrations of jewels and gemstones from inside the manuscripts.

Magnificent Gems: Medieval Treasure Bindings runs through January 7, 2018. Atlas Obscura has a selection of images from the exhibition.

]Amazing jeweled book covers HERE

Last edited by Lucy Ashes, 1/11/2018, 1:08 am


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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


quote:

Jeweled cover, Lindau Gospels, c. 875.


quote:

Jeweled cover with silver-gilt repoussé figures, Gospels of Judith of Flanders, c. 1060.



HOLY CRAP!! That is like mind blowing..... emoticon

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Oh, I would love to have a book like that from way back when. I would also love to have an illuminated book. Of course, what would I do with it except look at it and put it in my little library.

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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


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Of course, what would I do with it except look at it and put it in my little library.


Well any one of those you could WILL to your children or grand children! emoticon

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Ha, ha! They wouldn't see the value. It would sell at a yard sale for $5, unless of course my daughter-in-law saw it. She is a librarian.

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beautiful, simply beautiful

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Well you would know who you could will it to. emoticon

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That is true, Queeny! She actually worked with ancient manuscripts in Columbus when she was there.

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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


Oh could you just [sign in to see URL] have one of [sign in to see URL] at the reading of the [sign in to see URL] finds out that you gave that to her. Oh she would have been so [sign in to see URL] (and you) could really appreciate it! emoticon
Aren't 'day dreams' great? emoticon

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She took me down to the temperature controlled rooms that had the ancient books and manuscripts at Ohio State. Of course, I couldn't touch anything, but she showed me a book. I don't know what it was and it was a long time ago.

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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


I bet that was really neat! Especially for a book worm like you... emoticon

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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


Who?

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Re: See the Most Luxurious Medieval Manuscripts in Existence


Those are impressive.

I looked up the ]Lindau Gospels on Wikipedia. For most of its existence (almost a thousand years!!), it resided in a monastery in St. Gall and then in a convent in Lindau in Germany, hence the name.

What a treasure.

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quote:

Who?



My daughter-in-law.

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