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Walters Ms. W.728, Single leaf with Lutheran devotional design

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Single leaf with Lutheran devotional design

Text title
Orb of the Empire


This leaf, which appears to have been created as a singular work rather than part of a book, was designed and made by Johann Leonhard Tauber in 1752. Tauber, who identifies himself as a 63-year-old gravel-crusher in Nuremberg, Germany, "drew" using lines of texts of Christian doctrine, Martin Luther's catechism, and daily prayers. He identifies the ultimate design as the "Reichs Apffel," or "Orb of the Empire." Written in the most minute script, with the smallest text in the center of the flower virtually illegible to the naked eye, this work would have been a painstaking act of devotion.


Dated 1752 CE


Nuremberg, Germany


As-written name: Johann Leonhard Tauber


As-written name: Johann Leonhard Tauber






The primary language in this manuscript is German.

fols. W.728r to W.728r:
  1. Transliteration: In diesem Reichs Apffel ist du lesen die VI. Haupt Stücke Christlicher Lehre/ des Catechismi D. M. Lutheri/ mit der Auslegung/ Morgen und Abend Gebet/ die haus Tafel/ die Frag Stücke[/] für die so zum Sacrament gehen wollen/ und das Vatter unser/ in der Rosen. Johann Leonard Tauber/ Sand Müller in Nürnberg. Scripsit. Ætatis. 63. Anno 1752.
  2. Translation: In this Orb of the Empire you read the six principal pieces of Christian doctrine: the catechism of DM [Martin] Luther with the interpretation; morning and evening prayer; the haustafeln (domestic duties); the questions for Christian teaching; for all those who want to go to the sacrament; and the "our father" in the rose. Leonard Tauber, Sand Müller in Nürnberg wrote it, in the 63rd year of his age, in 1752.

Support material


Thin paper mounted on board


Foliation: Not applicable


Formula: Not applicable



21.0 cm wide by 34.4 cm high

Written surface

19.1 cm wide by 32.7 cm high

  1. The only ruling is found in the threefold ruled border around the image

fols. W.728r - W.728r:
  1. Title: Orb of the Empire
  2. Contents: Six articles of Christian doctrine; Luther's catechism with exposition; morning and evening prayers; the Lord's Prayer
  3. Hand note: Micrography, written in Fraktur script
  4. Decoration note: Orb of the Empire motif created through miniature written lines of text; foliate design in green and brown at base of cross; rosette in tan, white, and green in center of orb; floral designs in corners; three ruled bounding lines in green, tan, and brown; text in dark brown and light tan ink (the latter appears to be faded)


fol. W.728r:

  1. W.728, fol. W.728r
  2. Title: Orb of the Empire created through devotional writing
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Lutheran catechism texts


Designed and executed by Johann Leonhard Tauber, Nuremberg, Germany, 1752

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired 1901; found among Nuremberg prints


The Walters Art Museum, by Henry Walters bequest, 1931


Principal cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Catalogers: Dutschke, Consuelo; Herbert, Lynley; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editors: Bockrath, Diane; Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Klemm, Elizabeth; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.