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reliquary / casket

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1878,1101.3

  • Description

    Chasse; copper alloy; gilded; enamelled; engraved; repoussé; house-shaped with gabled roof and four cubic feet; cresting along ridge with key-hole perforations; front body: murder of Thomas Becket: archbishop, two knights and hand of God: reserved figures with applied heads; enamelled background decorated with rosettes; front lid: medallion with Becket emerging from cloud flanked by two angels; similar background; each side with standing saint holding scroll: reserved figures on enamelled background with two horizontal bands and rosettes; back: engraved crosses on enamelled background.

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  • Date

    • 1210 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 160 millimetres
    • Width: 142 millimetres
    • Depth: 68.5 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This is one of a large group of reliquaries produced in the Limoges workshops after the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. Caudron (see below), has identified 45 reliquaries depicting this subject. See also the panel from a casket (reg. no. 1907, 5-25, 3) and the casket on loan from the British Rail Superannuation Fund in the Department. For a full discussion of representations of Thomas Becket, see Borenius. PSH 26.11.91
    Bibliography: Caudron 1977 pp.9-33; Borenius 1932 pp. 87, 89, 91. pl. xxxvi, fig.2

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  • Bibliography

    • Gauthier 1987 bibliographic details
    • Bagnoli, Klein, Mann & Robinson 2011 no. 99, p. 187 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G40/dc10C

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, 'Treasures of Heaven'
    2011 13 Feb-8 May, Baltimore, Walters Museum of Art, 'Treasures of Heaven'
    2010-2011 17 Oct-6 Jan, Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Art, 'Treasures of Heaven'
    1995 6 Aug-12 Nov, Germany, Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Heinrich der Löwe und seine Zeit: Herrschaft und Repräsentation der Welfen 1125-1235

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1878

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1878,1101.3


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Object reference number: MCM4805

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