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The Hainricus Missal
Romanesque book art in gold and silver
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Ms M.711, Monastery of Weingarten, around 1217

CODICES SELECTI, Vol. CX

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Mans' wish, to stay in the memory of coming generations through the production of special works of art, is one of the oldest. To be able to own such significant treasures is surely one of the greatest joys one can prepare for oneself.
The history of the manuscript begins in 1217, when it was created. The first Earl of Leicester acquired the codex after it had been in Weingarten for almost 600 years. His grandson, however, had to sell the codex to the millionaire John Pierpont Morgan a hundred years later.

The ambitious abbot Berthold, who had great appreciation for art, sponsored the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey Weingarten. Besides the Berthold Sacramentary, it is above all the manuscript that caused the lasting fame of the great Weingarten School of Art: The Hainricus Sacramentary. Even so, the secret of Hainricus and his role in the production of the codex, are still unexplained. According to the chronicle of the Weingarten Abbey, three monks carried this name: Which one of them now is the Hainricus eternalised on the silver plate on the binding?

The book decoration - a highlight of German Romanesque: Five magnificent full~ page miniatures, two full-page ornamented initials, twenty-four calendar medallions, thirty-five story telling initials, twenty animal and scrollwork initials and uncountable swell colour initials, that are carried out in highest perfection: This is the Hainricus Sacramentary. The full-page miniatures, with fabulous frames carried out like panel paintings captivate one especially through their impressive monumentality. The initials describe biblical episodes in a most lively manner. This high quality of decoration equals the precision with which the writing and neumes are carried out.

The Hainricus Master started off a new great flow in the Weingarten scriptorium. The protagonists have overcome their rigour isolation; the emotions are within reach even though facial expressions and gestures are reduced to the basics.
The fantastic Hainricus Sacramentary, being an unaltered attestation of Romanesque book art, has retained the undamaged original binding. Heavy wooden covers, mounted with red suede, protect the book block. Whilst the back side of the cover is adorned with clear lines and round embossing, the front side shows beautiful binding with a silver relief in the centre.
The facsimile edition of the Hainricus Sacramentary mirrors, in colour and down to the last detail, the manuscript completely in its original size of 24,2 x 17,2 cm with the original binding of sheets and is cut according to the original. The polished gold leaf background of the fullpage miniatures in the original are in real gold in the facsimile.

The hand-made leather binding carries the pattern of clear lines and round embossing taken from the original and the silver clasps mirror the original down to the last detail. The book is sewn to five real trusses and the headband is just like the original. The worldwide strictly limited edition consists of 280 copies only.

   
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