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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard
Matthew 2:11

The Virgin and Child, on a throne and in profile, receive the offerings of the kings. The scene is in an edicule with doors on the left. These are massive ceremonial doors, harr hung, that is they rotate around the harr post which projects at the top and bottom. This was the suspension method used for the great classical, Carolingian and Ottonian bronze doors, at Aachen and Hildsheim. It contrasts with the normal English method of hanging doors from strap hinges (see e.g. P34).

The mysterious cloaked figure on horseback, obviously the last king from the previous page, who disappears through the doors on the left, derives from another episode. In a Carolingian ivory (from Metz, in Lyons, AP, pl 105c) the three kings are seen riding to the right, away from Bethlehem. The first king is already disappearing through an archway , revealing only his cloak and the rump of his horse. So, the figure, originally signalling the movement of departure, now indicates the last arrival.

There is a small ink scribal notation in the upper left margin

Quire 2.
Thread or stitch holes for protective curtain

Click to enlarge


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