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Walters Ms. W.754, Two leaves from an Antiphonary

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Two leaves from an Antiphonary

Text title
Antiphonary fragment


Originally part of an Antiphonary created in Germany in the early fourteenth century, these two nonconsecutive folios were saved for their large and ornate historiated initials. Stylistically, the images are close to the "Legendarium" of the Abbey of Heiligen Kreuz in Regensburg, and these leaves have therefore been attributed to that region as well. Other folios from this same manuscript survive in several collections: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Ms. M.870 (1-3), the Los Angeles County Museum (no manuscript information on file), Stockholm, National Museum (Erickson Foundation, Med. 1-4), and in the collection of Philippe Verdier in Montreal. One of the New York leaves has the name "Gerwich" inscribed beneath a historiated initial, and this has been understood by scholars to be the name of the artist. As all of the surviving initials are by the same hand, the Walters initials may be attributed to Gerwich as well.


Early 14th century CE


Regensburg, Germany


Supplied name: Gerwirch (?)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium-weight, well-finished parchment


Foliation: Not applicable

These are two non-consecutive leaves; both leaves have early ink foliation: they were originally fols. 56 and 524


Formula: Not applicable



37.2 cm wide by 49.5 cm high

Written surface

26.0 cm wide by 34.3 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 8
  3. There are eight lines of text, but there is additional ruling for the four-stave musical notation between text lines; due to this unusual ruling pattern, initials are measured here in terms of centimeters rather than line height

fols. W.754Ar - W.754Bv:
  1. Title: Antiphonary fragment
  2. Contents: Incomplete; fol. 754Ar-v: the recto begins with the last words of an unknown antiphon (...uid jacet. Gloria patri et filio et spiritu sancto), continues with directions and hymns for saints honored after Christmas, and ends imperfectly on the verso with a hymn for the circumcision (peccata mundi...); fol. 754Br-v: begins imperfectly with the end to a hymn to St. Peter (...pastor ovium princeps Apostolorum), continues with a hymn to Simon Peter, which ends on the verso imperfectly (et animam meam pono...)
  3. Hand note: Liturgical Gothic bookhand with rubrics in a smaller slightly less formal version of the same script; opening word in a majuscule display script in colored inks
  4. Decoration note: Two historiated initials (7.4 cm x 9.3 cm) in blue, red, green, and white against burnished gold grounds, with red and blue pen flourishes extending into margin; enlarged capitals (1.5 cm to 7 cm) in red or blue with pen decoration in the opposite color; rubrics in red; text in black ink


fol. W.754Av:

  1. W.754, fol. W.754Av
  2. Title: Initial "E" with the circumcision of Christ
  3. Form: Historiated initial "E," 7.4 cm x 9.3 cm
  4. Text: Hymn for the circumcision

fol. W.754Br:

  1. W.754, fol. W.754Br
  2. Title: Initial "S" with Christ giving St. Peter a key
  3. Form: Historiated initial "S," 7.4 cm x 9.3 cm
  4. Text: Hymn to St. Peter


Created in the Regensburg region of Germany in the early fourteenth century

Dominican convent of the Holy Cross, Regensburg; sold in 1876


Purchase, S & A.P. Fund, R. Stora, New York, March 1955


Faye, C. U. and W. H. Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York, 1962, p. 199, no. 570.

Miner, Dorothy. "Since de Ricci - Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934: A Report in Two Parts: Part 1." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 29-30 (1966): pp. 68-103, at pp. 87-91, figs. 15, 16.

Stones, Alison, and John Steyaert. Medieval Illumination, Glass and Sculpture in Minnesota Collections. Minneapolis: University Gallery, University of Minnesota, 1978, p. 28.

Nordenfalk, Carl. Bokmalningar fran medeltid och renassans i Nationalmusei samlingar: en konstbok fran Nationalmuseum. Stockholm: Raben & Sjogren, 1979, p. 54.


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

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Klemm, Elizabeth; Noel, William; 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.