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Leaf from the Würzburg Missal

  • Object:

    Manuscript cutting

  • Place of origin:

    Würzburg (printed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1484 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Reyser, Georg (printer)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case EDUC11

This is a leaf from the Würzburg Missal (Missale Herbipolense). A Missal is a service book that contains the text necessary for the performance of the Mass. The text on the page is printed and the initial is hand-painted. It shows the Lamb of God with the banner of the Resurrection. Printing with movable type was invented by a goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg in the Rhineland city of Mainz. The first printed book, the Gutenberg Bible, was produced about 1455. It aimed to copy the design of manuscript (hand-written) books in every respect. Scribes and illuminators were still employed to add the decoration and rubrics by hand.

Physical description

Printed red and black ink on parchment with hand illumination on burnished gold and green ground.

Place of Origin

Würzburg (printed)


ca. 1484 (printed)


Reyser, Georg (printer)


Height: 375 mm, Width: 255 mm, Height: 280 mm text block, Width: 180 mm text block

Object history note

Purchased from J. and S. Goldschmidt as part of three portfolios (now Museum nos 234-296) designated as a 'Illuminations: a collection of 338 specimens, pages and cuttings' for the total sum of £100.0.0, received on 15 October 1872; passed on for Register in April 1874 (see Register of Drawings).
Cuttings from the same book in the V&A collection: 234:1, 243:1.

Historical context note

Data taken from notes compiled by Rowan Watson. The full text of the entry is as follows:

'243. 1
WÜRZBURG MISSAL: 'Missale Herbipolense' (Würzburg: Georg Reyser, after 20 Feb. 1484) printed on vellum
Leaf, Printed in black with rubrics and some initials printed in red; on the verso, an illuminated roundel in the lower margin (Lamb of God with banner of the Resurrection, burnished gold and green ground)

Rubric (recto) : Hic teneat terciam partem super calicem. Per omnia secula; (verso) Hic inclinet se ante altare compositis manibus. Domine Iesu Christe

Germany (Würzburg ) . After 20 Feb. 1484
375 x 255 mm; printed space 280 x 180 mm; 19 lines; 1 col.

Bought from J&S Goldschmidt, 1872.'

Descriptive line

Leaf from Missale Herbipolense, also known as the Würzburg Missal, Würzburg: Georg Reyser, after 20 Feb. 1484.


Parchment; Ink; Pigments; Gold; Parchment


Printing; Illumination

Subjects depicted

Agnus Dei; Lamb


Christianity; Religion; Medieval and renaissance; Manuscript cutting; Manuscripts


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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