The Gospel cove bears on the front a repoussé scene of the Descent into Hell and around it scenes from the Passion of Christ in rectangular frames, with one of the Evangelists in each corner. On the back, there is the representation of the Dormition of the Virgin, with the Annunciation at the top central part ant the dedicatory inscription at the central bottom.
The item bears the stamp of its creator, Georg May II. He originated from a family of goldsmiths and worked at the court of prince of Wallachia, Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714). Renowned as one of the most famous craftsmen in late 17th - early 18th century Transylvania, he exhibits a big variety of produced works that combined the byzantine tradition with the western style that was vividly diffused by Saxon craftsmen and favoured by the geographical proximity of the area to Central Europe. In our cover, one can discern baroque elements in the acanthus leaves that decorate the rectangular frames of the prophets surrounding the scene of the Dormition of the Virgin.
The dense network that covers the spine of the book is characteristic of the Romanian bindings of this period. Moreover, the specific iconographic type in this Gospel book’s binding appears in Greece and Asia Minor at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. In these later examples the binding either retains the iconography of the Patmian book or is enriched in a Rococo style.