PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN PRINCELY FAMILY
The binding is by Johannes Meigfoge, active in Ellwangen or Tübingen (Baden-Württemberg) in 1475-1513 (Kyriss workshop 53; Kyriss identifies 38 bindings by him). The covers comprise borders and panels created with blind fillets and filled with varying stamps: four sizes of rose stamps, two sizes of hearts pierced with an arrow, an eagle in a shield, a small border stamp of a fleur-de-lys and a cross, two sizes of fleurs-de-lys stamps together with Meigfoge's scroll-shaped name stamp. The Württembergisches Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart contains four bindings by Meigfoge, two of which also have a Tübingen provenance.
The binding contains two large ninth-century (probably first half) manuscript fragments as pastedowns, taken from a manuscript of Bede's In librum Genesim. Other bindings by Meigfoge are recorded with similarly early manuscript fragments: a copy of a 1481 Bible in the University of Texas has a strip of a ninth-century New Testament manuscript, and a 1480 Milanese book of canon law, now in the University of Tübingen, has a fragment of a tenth-century "Apostolgeschichte" manuscript, and these may well be the remnants of a Carolingian monastic library once in the vicinity of Ellwangen or Tübingen. The abbey at Ellwangen dates to the mid eighth century, became an imperial abbey in 814, and was converted into a secular college of Augustinian canons in 1460, a few years before the present leaves were reused in this binding. G. Hardin Brown’s and J.A. Westgard’s forthcoming list of extant Bede manuscripts records some 22 manuscript copies of the text (but not including the present one). None are definitively older than the present witness.
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