Mankind's desire to endure in the memory of coming generations by means of producing exceptional works of art, is an ancient characteristic of humanity. Being able to own such important treasures is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts we can make ourselves. The history of this incredible manuscript began when it was crafted in 1217. The first Earl of Leicester bought it after it had been in the abbey of Weingarten for almost 600 years. His grandson, however, had to give up the book to millionaire John Pierpont Morgan a hundred years later.
The Mystery of an Unknown Monk
The story of this manuscript is strongly connected with ambitious abbot Berthold, a great connoisseur of art, who sponsored the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey of Weingarten. Besides the Berthold Sacramentary, only one manuscript has caused the long-lasting fame of the great Weingarten School of Art: The Hainricus Missal. But the secret identity of Hainricus and the role he played in producing this codex are still unexplained. According to the chronicle of the Weingarten Abbey, three monks in the history of the abbey had this name: which one is the Hainricus mentioned on the binding's original silver plate?
An Unparalleled Wealth of Illumination
The Hainricus Missal is a highlight of German Romanesque art: five extraordinary full-page miniatures, two full-page decorated initials, twenty-four calendar 'medallions', thirty-five historiated initials, twenty animal and scrollwork initials and countless swell colour initials, that are of the greatest perfection. The full-page illuminations, fabulously framed like panel paintings are especially captivating due to their awe-inspiring monumentality. The initials depict biblical episodes in the most lively of manners, the superb decoration quality equaling the precision with which the text and neumes are penned.
Original binding. Heavy wooden covers, mounted with red suede, protect the book block. Whilst the back side of the cover is adorned with clear lines and round embossing, the front side shows beautiful binding with a silver relief in the centre.