CHETVEROEVANGELIA [The Four Gospels], in Church Slavonic, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Sergeev Posad], Troitsko-Sergeev Monastery, 15 February 1608
147 x 100mm. 385 leaves: -28, 36, 4-118, 127, 13-148, 157(of 8, lacking vi), 168, 177, 18-368, 9, 388, 397, 40-448, 457, 469, 477, 489, signatures in Slavonic alphabetic numerals, textually complete with 20 lines per page in bold semi-uncial script with standard abbreviation, with headings, chapters, capitals and marginalia in gold, some verse-endings with red punctuation, three full-page illuminations of Saints Matthew, Luke and John (lacking that of St Mark) finely painted in water and body colour heightened with gold, each with inserted protective leaf set with red silk, titlepage of each Gospel with elaborate polychrome pan-Slavic headpiece, large initial and margin ornament, 7 further similar headpieces, with indices for the readings through the calendar year (slightly dampstained and soiled throughout, a few leaves loose). 18th-century red velvet over older boards, the front cover applied with a brass centrepiece of the Crucifixion, with shaped cornerpieces of the four Evangelists (slightly worn), clasps, edges gauffered and gilt.
A very finely written manuscript of the Gospels, unusually bearing a colophon that states that the manuscript was produced at the Troitsko-Sergeev Monastery, the elder Iosif Devochkin, in the year 7116  in February on the 15th, and that the scribe was the sinner Gavriil Sergeevich Basov.
The text opens with the usual introduction on five pages followed by the index to St Matthew's Gospel, the format repeated for the other Gospels. The text keeps to the old form of divisions of chapters and verses, with severe contractions indicating that this was made for a monk, possibly for Iosif Devochkin himself, or a monastic house. The marginalia in gold give the readings for the calendar year.