Home > Digitized Walters Manuscripts

This document is a tranformation of a TEI P5 XML manuscript description incorporating images. If you have trouble reading special or non-Latin characters on this page, please make sure you have appropriate Unicode fonts installed and an up-to-date web browser.

Walters Ms. W.740, Salzburg sermons

Browse images (Browse images in a new window) | TEI in XML format

Shelf mark



Salzburg sermons

Text title


Authority name: Donatus, Aelius.

Known as: Donatus


This book of sermons in German and Latin was made in the second half of the fifteenth century. The parchment flyleaves, containing texts from Donatus' work on grammar, were written slightly earlier than the manuscript and used as pastedowns. The manuscript is exceptional for retaining its original binding of cuir-ciselé (chiseled leather) over wood boards. The binding is of a type current in the Austrian Tyrol at this period. Also a note on fol. 133v refers to Bernhard von Gottesgnaden (or von Rohr), archbishop of Salzburg from 1466 to 1481. These pieces of evidence locate the collection of sermons in Salzburg. Although the manuscript is lacking in miniatures or decorated initials, red ink is used for initials and rubrics marking the beginning of each sermon.


Second half of the 15th century CE









The primary language in this manuscript is German, Middle High (ca.1050-1500). The secondary language of this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium-thin, laid paper


Foliation: i+134+i

Foliated with pencil in upper-right corner of each recto side; parchment flyleaves (originally pastedowns) contain excerpts from Donatus's writings on grammar (see part)


Formula: 1(10,-1), 2(12), 3-4(10), 5-11(12), 12(10,-10)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: Beginnings of quires 2 and 3 marked at bottom center in red ink, with Arabic numerals; ends of quires 4, 5, 7, and 8 marked in brown or red ink, with either Arabic numerals or symbols

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 10(2), 22(3), 32(4), 42(5), 54(6), 66(7), 78(8), 90(9), 102(10), 114(11), 126(12)


14.5 cm wide by 21.0 cm high

Written surface

9.2 cm wide by 14.2 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 21-25
  3. Two vertical and two horizontal ruling lines in brown ink

fols. 1r - 134v:
  1. Title: Sermons
  2. Hand note: Fifteenth-century German cursive
  3. Decoration note: Rubrics and opening initial of each sermon in red; text in brown ink
fols. ff.i,r - ff.i,v; bf.i,r - bf.i,v:
  1. Title: Fragments of Donatus, De partibus orationis ars minor (flyleaves)
  2. Author: Donatus, Aelius.
  3. Contents: Fragments of Donatus' Grammar reused originally as pastedowns during binding, now unglued and functioning as flyleaves; fragments appear to be from two different copies of same text, one from the fourteenth century and the other from ca. 1440, therefore dating to shortly before the production of the book; interesting to note: the two folios comprising the back flyleaf are each from a different copy of Donatus but contain exactly the same text, and have been placed side by side
  4. Hand note: Two different hands, one fourteenth and one fifteenth century


fol. 1r:

  1. W.740, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Initial "P"
  3. Form: Text page with initial "P," 3 lines


The binding is original.

Fifteenth-century dark brown calf on wood boards embellished with cuir-ciselé leaf patterns; the design is executed by incised outline, against a ground with impressions of circular punches; two vertical undulating vines of trefoils and of large pointed leaves decorate the upper cover; the lower is filled by a single vine with large leaves; one clasp, now missing, was fastened onto a pin in the center of the upper cover


Created in the second half of the fifteenth century, owned by Bernhard of Salzburg, likely the original owner (1466-1481); his name inscribed on fol. 133v: "Bernhard von gotes gnadn erzbischove de Salzburg legat des Romischen stuel"

Michelin (?) de Polendorf, sixteenth century ownership inscription on fol. 134v: "Das puech ist des Michelin des Polendorf hausse zu prawnek ander ocz"

Joseph Brummer Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, his sale, May 23, 1949, lot no. 166


Walters Art Museum purchase, 1949


Miner, Dorothy. The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950 A. D., An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, November 12, 1957, to January 12, 1958. Baltimore: The Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1957, p. 72, cat. no. 167

Miner, Dorothy. "Since De Ricci: Western Illuminated Manuscripts Acquired since 1934. A Report in Two Parts: Part I." Journal of The Walters Gallery 29-30 (1966-1967): p. 100


Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Klemm, Elizabeth; Noel, William; Pizzinato, Riccardo; Sciacca, Christine; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


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.