Close XYL-14 Christ before Caiaphas (or Annas); Christ before Pilate

XYL-14.1 Christ before Caiaphas (or Annas)

 [Southern Germany, c.1460]. Metalcut (dotted print).

 Schr. 2269c. Only a small portion of this unique item has been preserved, with the result that the identification of the scene depicted remains uncertain. On the right we see a heavily bearded figure in exotic garb, enthroned, wearing a Phrygian hat, and carrying a baton or sceptre in his left hand. The background is formed by a curtain of rich brocade and the diagonal lines of a roof. Executed with punches and cross-hatching. As Pilate is portrayed without a beard in XYL-14.2, which clearly belongs to the same set of metalcuts, and as this figure is lacking the attributes of kingship, such as would give a positive indication of Herod, this is most likely the remains of a picture of Christ appearing in bondage before Caiaphas or Annas. Nicholson and Van Dijk identify the figure as Herod; Schreiber suggests Pilate. Unique copy. This and the following item appear to be the only remnants of a fourth metalcut Passion cycle, in the same style and format as the Stöger-Passion (XYL-1), the Chicago Passion, and the Riga Passion, as discussed in the survey by Field, ‘Art Institute’ (without mention of these two Bodleian leaves). Considered by Schreiber to be Upper Rhenish, possibly an early work of the Master of the Aachen Madonna (with his distinctive treatment of eyes and eyebrows), but, as Field notes, Schreiber’s attribution of metalcuts to this region is largely based on his interpretation of the Stöger-Passion, which is now questioned by P. Schmidt (see XYL-1.1).

refs. Schreiber, Handbuch, V 37; Nicholson no. 57.

copy A fragment, probably printed on one eighth of a chancery sheet. 67 × 31 mm. Chain-lines vertical. No watermark. Printed in black ink on one side of the paper in a press. Coloured in yellow, dark red, blue, and green. All that survives of the metalcut is a vertical strip from the right-hand upper portion of the image, showing part of a seated figure. The damage is the result of tearing, no doubt deliberate. Attached to the original upper pastedown (fol. iv), which is otherwise completely blank, of a small-format book of hours on parchment (106 × 75 mm), written in the third quarter of the fifteenth century for the use of a certain ‘Guillermus’ (fols 82v, 83r, and 84v). Several leaves with miniatures and illuminated borders have been removed; illuminated borders are preserved on fols 93r, 97v, and 102v. Script, illumination, and the calendar (with a mixture of Rouen and Sarum saints) indicate that the book is likely to have been written in France for an English patron. A note by E. W. B. Nicholson dated 30 Dec. 1886 records the text of a fifteenth-century English inscription ‘the horse was delyuerd xviij daye of marce’ on the lower pastedown, over which XYL-14.2 has been pasted; this is evidence that the metalcuts, although undoubtedly pasted into the volume at a very early date, did not form part of the book at the time the manuscript received its present binding.

refs. SC 6489; Van Dijk IV 107.

Binding: Fifteenth-century blind-tooled inboard binding, later rebacked. 112 × 85 × 33 mm. Mid-brown tanned hair-sheep (?) over beech boards. The covering leather is now much darker; see the upper turn-ins for the original colour. All tooling is blind, executed with a four-line fillet and three tools: square stamp with dragon; indistinct circular stamp (angel?); indistinct rectangular stamp (foliage). The original upper parchment pastedown has been lifted. Each board has a single recess with three nail-holes and a later larger hole through the board. No furniture now survives. Rebacked with mid-brown tanned leather. Part of the original spine, bearing the shelfmark ‘133’ in white paint, is now mounted on the inner face of the upper board.

Provenance: Robard Toteayd of Bury (fl. c.1500); see the seven-line strophic inscription in English recording the donation of the book and requesting prayers for the former owner: ‘Bokys and preyer moche profytabyll be . . .’ (fol. 150r). John Mannyng (fl. early sixteenth century); inscription at fol. 150r: ‘John Mannyng´ hys boeke’. Thomas Barlow (1607–91); inscription ‘Liber Thome Barlow è collegio Reg. Oxon. 1647’. Bequeathed in 1691. Other names associated with the manuscript are Thomas White, whose death on 26 Oct. 1460 is recorded in the calendar on fol. 10, and William Milett, whose birth on 16 Sept. 1474 is recorded on fol. 149v. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: MS. Liturg. 133; MS. Linc. 47.

shelfmark: MS. Barlow 47, fol. iv.

XYL-14.2 Christ before Pilate

 [Southern Germany, c.1460]. Metalcut (dotted print) with Latin inscription.

 Schr. 2273a. Christ before Pilate, who washes his hands. Christ is shown with a halo, wearing a long robe, standing to the left, held by a soldier in armour. His hands are bound. To the right Pilate, a beardless figure wearing a Phrygian hat, sits on a throne washing his hands in a bowl. The man to his right wears a hat. The man to his left pours water on his hands. The background is formed by a curtain and an arched vault. At the top an inscription, white on black and framed with a double line, reads ‘Innocens . Sum . in . isto . homi’ (based on Mt 27,24: ‘Innocens ego sum a sanguine iusti huius’); see Schr. 2273. Executed in black on white, using punches and cross-hatching. Unique copy. Part of the same, otherwise unattested metalcut Passion cycle as XYL-14.1. Described by Schreiber as an early Upper Rhenish metalcut, possibly an early work of the Master of the Aachen Madonna.

ills. Bodleian Filmstrip Roll 245, no. 13.

refs. Schreiber, Handbuch, V 38–9; Griese (in preparation); Nicholson no. 58.

copy One eighth of a chancery sheet. 105 × 75 mm (metalcut 103 × 74 mm). Chain-lines not visible. No watermark (Nicholson). Printed in black ink on one side of the paper in a press. Coloured in yellow, dark red, blue, and green. Some damage on the outer edge to the right. Pasted inside the lower board of the same book of hours as XYL-14.1. A note in the hand of E. W. B. Nicholson (1849–1912), dated 30 Dec. 1886, states that this item had been transferred to an album, Douce Prints 210 (now Douce Prints c. 26 in the Ashmolean Museum, see XYL-9), and that it was restored to the original host volume by him.

Binding and provenance: See XYL-14.1 for details.

shelfmark: MS. Barlow 47, lower pastedown.