Close XYL-18 Crucifixion with Christ Pierced by the Lance

 [Southern Germany (Franconia?), c.1440–50]. Woodcut.

 Schr. 470ha. Christ is portrayed with a halo, his head inclined to the left, apparently with open eyes, affixed by three nails to the cross. A banderole attached to the head of the cross, intended to carry the ‘INRI’ inscription, has been left blank. Mary and John, both with haloes, stand on either side, to the left and the right, with gestures of sorrow. John raises his hand, as if engaged in dialogue. To the left Longinus, with hat and beard, pierces Christ’s side with his lance. Two angels collect the blood which flows from the wounds in his hands and side in chalices. Single-lined frame. The image is surrounded by a broad decorative border of acanthus leaves attached to the curling stem of a vine, with squarish flowers at the corners, enclosed by a double-lined frame. Unique copy. For the border design, which is similar in design to border B of the Gulden puchlein woodcuts in Munich BSB (datable to 1450, Nuremberg), see Schreiber, Handbuch, VI 120, and the discussion in Schmidt, listing nine examples, several of them from Nuremberg. Nicholson noted c.1460–80 as the date for this item, changed by a later annotator of his catalogue to c.1440–50. Schreiber’s later dating (c.1460) needs to be revised in view of the date of the host volume described below. For another woodcut from this group, see XYL-35.

ills. McKitterick, Print, 57, fig. 8; Bodleian Filmstrip Roll 245, no. 23.

refs. Dodgson, Ashmolean, 30 (Bodl.1); Schreiber, Handbuch, VIII 29; Schmidt, Gedruckte Bilder, 32 and n. 73; Nicholson no. 77.

copy Chancery quarter-sheet. 216 × c.150 mm (woodcut 185 × c.123 mm). Chain-lines horizontal. The upper half of a watermark is positioned in the middle of the outer edge, unusual for a leaf in a codex in 4o, and indicating that this is a genuine quarter-sheet singleton. Printed in black ink on one side of the paper in a press. Coloured in green, two tones of reddish pink, brown, pale brown, and pale yellow. The leaf is contained in a mid-fifteenth-century manuscript missal on paper, in 4o (216 × 144 mm), where it is hooked round the two innermost bifolia of the first quaternion, so that the image of the crucifixion faces the ‘Te igitur’ introducing the Canon of the Mass. The manuscript begins with collects and secrets for the first two Sundays in Advent (fol. iiv, continued on fol. 58r), the proper Prefaces to the Mass (fols 1r–2v), followed by the Gloria and Creed copied in smaller script on fol. 3r. The woodcut is on fol. 3v, followed by the Canon, which begins on fol. 4r. The manuscript is the work of a single scribe, and is datable on the basis of script and watermark evidence to c.1445–55 (principal watermark: Anvil in circle; Briquet 5958, attested in Gurck 1446, variants Bruck a.d. Mur 1452 etc.; WZMA AT5000–RB25_1_209, attested 1452–4 [, accessed 16 Apr. 2004]). The woodcut is printed on paper from a different stock, with an unidentifiable bull’s head watermark. As the Gloria and Creed copied on the recto of this leaf are integral to the text and the work of the main scribe, there can be no doubt that the woodcut leaf formed part of the manuscript as it was planned. The outer, left-hand margin of the woodcut is rather wide (24 mm), whereas the right-hand frame of the woodcut and any margin are entirely lost in the gutter. A lateral crease at the top of the woodcut leaf and some small holes, perhaps for stitching, suggest that the woodcut may have served some other purpose before it was reused as an integral part of the present volume.

refs. SC 19423; Van Dijk I 192.

Binding: Fifteenth-century inboard binding. 234 × 157 × 29 mm. Red, surface-stained tawed sheep over sharply bevelled wooden boards. Many individual leaves have been been repaired with a fine white handmade laid paper. The original endleaves, a parchment pastedown and a paper flyleaf, were lifted and heavily repaired with transparent paper in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century; now foliated fols i–ii, 58–59. Fol. 60, originally a slotted spine liner extending onto the boards, was also lifted and heavily repaired. It is now guarded into the manuscript after the lower endleaves. Each quire has an internal parchment sewing guard. Both boards have impressions from five circular bosses. The upper board has the scar from a lost catch plate which was attached with four copper-alloy pins. The lower board has the stub of a heavy tawed-leather strap anchored with a copper-alloy pin. The strap and clasp are now missing. The three parchment leaves which originally served as pastedowns and as spine liner, a single leaf (fol. i) and a bifolium (fols 59–60), are fragments of the earliest known copy of a Middle High German medical text, the Bartholomäus, datable on palaeographical grounds c.1200–20; the parchment sewing guards between fols 15v/16r, 35v/36r, and 45v/46r are from the same manuscript.

refs. R. Priebsch, ‘Deutsche Prosafragmente des XII. Jahrhunderts II: Bruchstücke der sog. Practica des Meisters Bartholomaeus’, Modern Language Review, 11 (1916), 321–34; G. Keil, ‘Bartholomäus’, in VL 1 (1978), 609–15; B. Schnell, ‘Die deutsche Medizinliteratur im 13. Jahrhundert. Ein erster Überblick’, in Eine Epoche im Umbruch. Volkssprachliche Literalität 1200–1300. Cambridger Symposium 2001, ed. C. Bertelsmeier-Kierst and others (Tübingen, 2003), 249–65, at 253; ‘Marburger Repertorium deutschsprachiger Handschriften des 13. Jahrhunderts’ ( [accessed 11 Apr. 2004]).

Provenance: Villach (Carinthia), parish church of S. Martin; inscription ‘Hoc Mißale fuit quondam ad usum Ecclesie Parochialis S. Martini supra Villacum’ (seventeenth century). Matteo Luigi Canonici (1727–1805 or 1806). Purchased by the Bodleian in 1817.

shelfmark: MS. Canon. Liturg. 334, fol. 3v.