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Updated: 14 April 2015
reliquary / casket
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.
- 1210 (circa)
- Made in: Limoges
- Height: 160 millimetres
- Width: 142 millimetres
- Depth: 68.5 millimetres
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
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
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
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Object reference number: MCM4805
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