(Lachen am Zürichsee: Coron-Verlag, 1995). Text: 445 x 330 mm. (17 1/2 x 13"); Box: 700 x 500 mm. (27 1/2 x 19 5/8"). Box: 700 x 500 mm. (27 1/2 x 19 5/8"). Two volumes (including commentary volume in German). No. 244 OF 250 SPECIAL COPIES in the immense sculpted container (of a total edition of 500).
Publisher's light gray-green silk, upper cover with pierced brass palmette frame, large central medallion of the Agnus Dei surrounded by four smaller medallions of the Virtues (Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude), raised bands, two ornamental brass clasps and leather thongs. Housed in a massive suede-lined brown leather box, its lid a gilt-plated metal reproduction of a Medieval relief sculpture of Christ in Majesty, his nimbus studded with colored gems and pearls, an orb in one hand, with small figures representing the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II and his wife Cunegund on either side, kneeling to kiss the Savior's feet. Rubrics in red, illuminated five-line knotwork initials throughout, and 28 full-page miniatures with burnished gold applied by hand. With a folding cloth case containing two prospectuses, authentication documents, and related material. In mint condition.
This is the deluxe form of a facsimile of one of the major works of Ottonian decoration, written and illustrated ca. 1007-12 at the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey of Reichenau, in its glory then as the largest and most influential school of book illumination in the 10th and 11th centuries. The Pericope, which contains the Gospel excerpts to be read at Mass throughout the liturgical year, was commissioned by Henry II for the consecration of the cathedral at Bamberg. The miniatures here illustrate key stories from each Gospel and are typical of the large New Testament cycles found in the Liuthar group of manuscripts, attributed to a monk and scribe of that name who produced works of outstanding artistic merit, among them the Gospels of Otto III and the Aachen Evangeliary. The greatest care was taken in reproducing the original manuscript (now held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich), using digitization methods of the highest resolution and employing artisans to apply 23 1/2 karat gold by hand and to handstitch the leaves. Curators from BSB compared the facsimile to the original to insure the accuracy of the colors. The binding, too, is convincing: for example, the metalwork on the front cover, obviously accomplished by hand, is full of irregularities in the strips and nails used to hold down the decorative leafy frame. The facsimile itself (issued in a press run of 500 copies) is impressive enough, but the box in which it is housed (for the 250 special copies like the present one) is particularly memorable. The relief sculpture of Christ, which is based on a piece held by the Cluny Museum in Paris, represents without doubt the most majestic packaging of any modern facsimile. (ST12572)
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PJP Catalog: 70.515