Արծաթէ կրկնակազմ

Արծաթէ կրկնակազմ

May 7, 2013

Silver Gospels, Binding, Walters Manuscript W.542, Upper board outside

Brown goatskin over wooden boards, with a flap tooled in blind with small tools. The spine is decorated with a succession of vertical incisions and rises at the head and tail. The headbands are embroidered in red, black, and tan. The boards are lined with coarse blue linen. Each cover is overlaid with a plaque of silver worked in repoussé and finished by chiselling. The central panel of the upper cover depicts the Presentation in the Temple, and on the lower cover, the Ascension of Christ. Each scene is framed with a border of cherub heads. This silver binding, which is attributable to the seventeenth or early eighteenth century, was likely produced in Kayseri (Turkey).

 

This Gospels manuscript was written in 937 of the Armenian era [1488 CE] in the province of Ekełeac’ by the priest Łazar at the monastery of Surb Awgsend (St. Auxentius). Though the fifteenth-century manuscript was not a terribly costly production (for example, the nimbuses around the evangelists’ heads are painted in yellow or orange rather than gold), it later came to be housed in a magnificent binding with large silver plaques showing the Presentation of the christ child at the temple on the front and the Ascension on the back. This silver binding, which is attributable to the seventeenth or early eighteenth century, was likely produced in Kayseri (Turkey). The manuscript’s fifteenth-century evangelist portraits show signs of Mongolian artistic influence, stemming from the time when Mongols had conquered the province. For a manuscript of similar style, see the Gospels in Jerusalem, no. 298, copied by Maghak’ia in 1497. The Walters Silver Gospels was used over a long period of time by a succession of owners. Information about its history is given in colophons and ownership inscriptions on the codex’s final folios. For example, one note indicates that the book was rebound in 1626, and offered to the church of Surb Astuacacin (Holy Theotokos) in memory of Caruk, Kirakos, and Girigor (fol. 280r). The last date given is the Armenian year 1161 (1712 CE), which may be when the manuscript was rebound.

This Gospels manuscript was written in 937 of the Armenian era [1488 CE] in the province of Ekełeac’ by the priest Łazar at the monastery of Surb Awgsend (St. Auxentius). Though the fifteenth-century manuscript was not a terribly costly production (for example, the nimbuses around the evangelists’ heads are painted in yellow or orange rather than gold), it later came to be housed in a magnificent binding with large silver plaques showing the Presentation of the christ child at the temple on the front and the Ascension on the back. This silver binding, which is attributable to the seventeenth or early eighteenth century, was likely produced in Kayseri (Turkey). The manuscript’s fifteenth-century evangelist portraits show signs of Mongolian artistic influence, stemming from the time when Mongols had conquered the province. For a manuscript of similar style, see the Gospels in Jerusalem, no. 298, copied by Maghak’ia in 1497. The Walters Silver Gospels was used over a long period of time by a succession of owners. Information about its history is given in colophons and ownership inscriptions on the codex’s final folios. For example, one note indicates that the book was rebound in 1626, and offered to the church of Surb Astuacacin (Holy Theotokos) in memory of Caruk, Kirakos, and Girigor (fol. 280r). The last date given is the Armenian year 1161 (1712 CE), which may be when the manuscript was rebound.

 

 

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