Cover of the Book of the Gospels made of silver; the draperies and the attributes of the applied figures are silver-gilt. Certain other details, like the wings of the angels, the frame mouldings of five roundels, together with the circle of fleur-de-lis cresting (in the centre), are also silver-gilt. The central niche is no longer in its original form since the central disc is a modern replacement and the two 'floating' angels above, with windblown hair and fluttering drapery tossed high above their heels, appear to have once held, in their outstretched hands, a crown (?) or, perhaps, the Crown of Thorns. Immediately above these two angels, the even more exaggerated late Gothic forms of openwork tracery create a pseudo-architectural canopy, which terminates in two tall central pinnacles and, on either side, a pair of intertwining bare branches with only the occasional curling leaf. The 'naturalistic' element of the entwining branches is repeated on either side in the complex pseudo-architectural openwork design of the two smaller canopies, with their wilfully curving double-pinnacles. In the right-hand niche is the standing figure of the young deacon, most recently identified as St Vincent of Valencia, with an open book in his right hand, a staff in his left hand and wearing the ecclesiastical vestments of a deacon. In the left-hand niche is the standing figure of the aged St Anthony the Hermit, with long beard, a crutch in his right hand and a closed book in his left hand. These two figures both stand on the hexagonal tops of foliated capitals above hexagonal column-shafts. The four roundels with their raised circular frames of twisted-cable and gilded mouldings contain the reliefs depicting the symbols of the Four Evangelists, each accompanied by a banderole inscribed with the appropriate name (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The background plate to each roundel is not gilded, and the gilded cut-out applied relief is silhouetted against the silver background. Beneath the large central roundel, the two spandrels are filled with applied late Gothic writhing foliate motifs in white silver, while below, a silver-gilt angel with widespread wings kneels and holds the two shields: (i) per fess sable and argent; (ii) gules, a letter A or.

The Ulm Münster Book-Covers
WB.88,
AN571886001

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