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Case for gospels

Case for gospels

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    10th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper- gilt, wood, crystals

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 84, The Whiteley Galleries, case 2

Physical description

Copper- gilt on wood, set with crystals. Case for the Gospels. Wood; the cover is overlaid in gilt metal with a cross set with raised compartments, containing relics and pictures. Protected by Glass or crystal; in the centre is a crystal cabochon with a picture of the Virgin and Child behind. The spaces left by the cross are repousse with the Emblems of the four evangelists.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


10th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Copper- gilt, wood, crystals


Length: 12.375 in, Width: 8 in, Depth: 3.125 in

Historical context note

Medieval Worship

Until the 16th century Roman Catholicism was the universal faith of the Western world and Latin was its universal language. The needs of church ritual inspired the production of a range of richly decorated vessels and vestments, crosses and images in the form of altarpieces. Many were made of gold or silver, adorned with enamels or gems, precious materials seen as symbolic of the reverence due to the worship of God. Less wealthy churches used cheaper vessels in copper, brass or pewter.

The celebration of Mass was and remains the most important service of the Roman Catholic liturgy. For this the minimum requirements are an altar, a chalice and missal, the book of texts necessary for the Mass. Holy Communion or Eucharist is that part of the Mass in which the people participate in the sacrifice of Christ, by partaking of his body and blood in the consecrated bread and wine, held in the chalice and paten.

Descriptive line

Church plate, Continental


Copper- gilt; Wood; Crystal




Metalwork Collection

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