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Manuscript - Evangelistary-Missal (the 'St Maurice d'Agaune Missal'), in Latin.
  • Evangelistary-Missal (the 'St Maurice d'Agaune Missal'), in Latin.
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Evangelistary-Missal (the 'St Maurice d'Agaune Missal'), in Latin.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Switzerland (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1175-1200 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink and pigments on parchment. Wooden boards.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

Physical description

Foliation: parchment. 65ff.

Number of lines: 23 lines.

Language: Latin.

Script: proto-Gothic book script.

Textual content:
ff. 1r-24v, 26r-41v, 25r-v: Readings from the Gospels.
ff. 42r-44r: Spurious privilege for St Maurice, an account of the endowment by Charlemagne of the abbey, with a spurious bull of Pope Adrian.
ff. 44r-49r: Prayers for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
ff. 49v, 56r-60v: Prefaces for Mass.
ff. 50r-55r: Readings from the Gospels with Secret and prayers.
ff. 60v-63v: Readings from the Gospels.
ff. 64v-65r: Stray bifolium with readings from the Gospels.

Decoration: 2 illuminated initials:
f. 48v: Gospel for Easter Sunday. 4-line red initial D with infill of symmetrical scrolling stem and red leaf, with white curling leaves over them, ground of pale blue, bounded by frame of red line.
f. 50r: Pentecost. 5-line red initial D with infill of foliate design pale blue ground bounded by frame of a red line, from which emerges at top left a dragon’s torso.
Series of large initials in red and blue.

Binding: medieval and 19th-century, England. Medieval wooden board with the outer surface varnished. Quires sewn with coarse help string onto three split leather things. 19th-century niche cut in the cover which held a 12th-century walrus ivory (now V&A 259-1867).

Place of Origin

Switzerland (made)


ca. 1175-1200 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Ink and pigments on parchment. Wooden boards.


Height: 290 mm, Width: 190 mm, Height: 190 mm Text block, Width: 110 mm Text block, Height: 295 mm Board, Width: 200 mm Board

Object history note

(1) Written in (or for) the abbey of St Maurice d'Agaune (Canton of Valais, Switzerland) in the last quarter of the 12th century, as suggested by the inclusion of the spurious privilege for St Maurice d'Agaune within the liturgical text.
(2) Acquired by the South Kensington Museum in 1867 from the dealer John Webb, with an ivory inserted into the board of the binding.

Descriptive line

Manuscript, Missal, Switzerland, ca. 1175-1200.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 20
Ker, N.R. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, V, Indexes and Addenda. Edited by I.C. Cunningham and A.G. Watson. Oxford: 2002.
pp. 23, 27, pls 18, 24
Watson, R. Illuminated manuscripts and their makers. An account based on the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. London, 2003.
Dietrich Kötzsche and Lotar Lambacher,Höhepunkte romanischer Schatzkunst. Die reliquiare in London und Berlin und ihr Umkreis, Berlin, 2006, p. 72.
p. 304, no. 78
Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings. Early Christian to Romanesque. London, V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2010
vol. 1, pp. 54-57, cat. 6.
Watson, R. Western Illuminated Manuscripts.Victoria and Albert Museum. A catalogue of works in the National Art Library from the eleventh to the early twentieth century, with a complete account of the George Reid Collection. London, 2011.


Parchment; Ink; Pigments; Wood




National Art Library; Books; Manuscripts; Medieval and renaissance; Bookbinding

Production Type



National Art Library

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