- Museum number
The front of an enamelled altar-cross with five Old Testament scenes: Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh(centre); Moses and Aaron and the brazen Serpent(top); Elijah and the Widow of Sarepta(left); the marking of the Tau during passover(right); return of the Spies with the grapes(bottom); Latin inscriptions.
The cross is made up of four hammered rectangular copper plaques: the top plaque is decorated with two scenes, including the central scene; the two arms and the bottom plaque have one scene each and abut against the central scene. Backs: A recent mounting-mark is scratched on each plaque: (anti-clockwise, beginning on the right arm) I/II/III/IIII. Fronts: Champlevé and engraved, with some minor details executed with cloisonné copper cell-work; enamelled, gilded and set with gem-stones. The edges of the plaques, except where they meet in the centre, are recessed and beaded, with regular pinholes for attachment to a wooden core; the beading was executed with a tool with a hollow tip of approx. 1 mm width. The unbeaded edges where the four plaques abut in the centre are original, except on the top plaque: the right and left sides of the central square were originally beaded and have been cut down, as is proved by their incomplete pinholes; the lower edge is also trimmed but here there is no evidence that originally there was beading, although the corresponding plaque on the reverse of the cross, now in Berlin, has a continuous beaded border around the whole central scene. The decoration of the cross is organised with the five Old Testament scenes in the centre and on the terminals, separated by ornamental panels, a single one on each of the upper arms, three on the lower. The five Old Testament scenes all have a narrow enamelled frame, 3 mm in width, of pale blue within white, which is broken by elements of each scene:
(Centre) Jacob blessing Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis XLVIII, 14). Jacob (• IACOB •), nimbed and bearded, is seated frontally on a draped couch between two curtains, wearing a long robe and shoes; the curtain on the left is smaller and beneath it is an extension of Jacob's couch, perhaps a cushion. Jacob's arms are crossed, his right hand placed on the head of the boy at his left knee, his left on the boy's head at his right knee; the two boys, both dressed in tunic, hose and boots are bowing towards Jacob with extended hands. The inscriptions above their heads (EFFRA/IM. /MANASSE) are wrongly placed and contradict the Genesis narrative, since it is not Ephraim, the younger, who is blessed by Jacob's right hand.
(Top terminal). Moses and Aaron with the Brazen Serpent (Numbers XXI, 9). The serpent is dog-headed and has a spotted body; it is coiled on top of a central column, with square plinth, bulbous base, stylised volute capital and a shaft decorated with trefoil motifs, executed in cloisonné cell-work. Moses stands to the right, nimbed and bearded, with bare feet, wearing a long tunic and mantle, his hands spread before him as he gazes at the serpent. He is identified by a vertical inscription alongside the column: MOYSES. Aaron, nimbed, bearded, wearing a pointed cap and shoes, mantle and tunic, stands on the left, with hands spread as he too gazes at the serpent. He is identified by a vertical inscription: AARON. Behind Aaron stands an Israelite in tunic, hose and shoes, with a raised hand; the hair of a second Israelite is visible behind him, thus suggesting a group of Israelites 'in shorthand'.
(Left terminal). Elijah and the widow of Sarepta (1 Kings XVII, 8-16, cf. Luke IV, 26). On the left stands the widow (VIDVA.), facing to the right and holding before her two sticks to form a cross. On the right Elijah (HELY/AS.), nimbed, bearded and barefoot, is walking away, his body cut off by the right edge of the frame; he is turning back to face the widow, and extending his hand towards her. The widow wears a long garment, Elijah a tunic and mantle. A tree, bending to the left behind the widow, is depicted in the background.
(Right terminal) The Passover, that is the marking of the Tau on the houses of the Israelites (Exodus XII, 22). On the right is a building with narrow clerestory windows below the eaves and scalloped roof tiles; it is entered through a tall rectangular portal with gabled top; there are two round finials on the gable and roof; in the doorway is the slaughtered paschal lamb with blood welling down from its throat. Before the door stands a man wearing a short tunic, hose, boots and a topee-like hat with a rounded crown and narrow brim. He is holding in his left hand a bowl containing the blood of the lamb and in his right hand a quill pen with which he has written the sign Tau (T) on the gable above the door. A vertical inscription SIG/NV .TAV identifies the scene.
(Bottom terminal). The return of the spies bearing grapes from the Promised Land (Numbers XIII, 24; xiv, 6). The two spies, both nimbed, walk to the right, carrying between them a huge bunch of grapes which hangs from a pole resting on their shoulders. Each man holds a staff, which rests on his right shoulder. They wear tunics, hose and boots. Joshua, who is beardless (.IOSV/E) holds the pole with his left hand, while the bearded Caleph ( CAL/EPh) steadies the grapes by holding their stem. Below the grapes is the inscription .BOTR(V)S. (grape).
The intermediate ornamental sections consist of a basic design: a four-leafed flower in the centre radiates from a central button and is backed (except in one case) by a square of colour. It is placed within a lozenge, the border of which is decorated with a continuous pattern of cloisonné quatrefoils. The outer edges (but not those adjacent to the Old Testament scenes) have a border decorated with a continuous pattern of cloisonné octo-foils. Although none of these lozenges is identical with another, a correspondence or balance was intended between the lozenges which flank the central scene: the two on the arms of the cross are closely similar, only the distribution of colours in the border quatrefoils varying; the two immediately above and below the central scene are again virtually identical, even down to the border quatrefoils, though the firing of the enamel in the flowers has produced a slight variation of palette. On the other hand the two lower lozenges of the bottom bar are unique versions of the basic design. The palette used in these sections is constant from one lozenge to the next, but deployed in different ways, so that a conscious effect of antiphonal colours has been achieved. In the triangular spaces between these borders and the lozenges gemstones are set: each triangle has one large stone, roughly oblong or rectangular, flanked by two small roughly round stones, but in the larger triangles formed by the triple repeat on the lower bar of the cross, there are three small stones around each large one. The stones are not physically mounted in the copper. They are held by the edges of the hole cut expressly for them in the hatched gilded metal of the triangular fields around and between the enamelled lozenges. These cavities are therefore slightly irregular in size and shape to accommodate the irregularity in the stones, which must therefore be original to the cross. The stones are of four types, all cut en cabochon: rock crystal, lapis lazuli, garnet (almandine) and amethyst (British Museum Research Laboratory report). They are distributed so that in all except a few instances of the small stones, they match diagonally in pairs across each decorative field. The larger stones (all crystals or lapis) are backed, the crystals with traces of silver, probably original to give them brilliance, the lapis with slate, perhaps a conservation technique of the nineteenth century. The small stones (crystal, garnet and amethyst) are not apparently arranged in any particular configurations but do continue the diagonal pairing system, except on a few occasions particularly on the bottom bar. However, these aberrations could well be due to a later mistake in the remounting of the stones. Copper cloisonné cell-work is restricted to the minute quatrefoils and octofoils of the borders and lozenges (the large four-leaved flowers are champlevé), and the trefoils which decorate the Brazen Serpent's column.
- Production date
- 1160-1170 (circa)
Width: 256 - 257 millimetres (overall)
Width: 62 - 66 millimetres (top plaque)
Height: 66 - 67 millimetres (left arm)
Width: 96 - 97 millimetres (left arm)
Height: 202 millimetres (bottom plaque)
Height: 374 millimetres (overall)
Height: 66 millimetres (right arm)
Height: 172 millimetres (top plaque)
Weight: 263.40 grammes (bottom plaque)
Weight: 126.50 grammes (left arm)
Weight: 121.50 grammes (right arm)
Weight: 206 grammes (top plaque)
Weight: 717.40 grammes (total)
Width: 67 millimetres (bottom plaque)
Width: 96 millimetres (right arm)
- Curator's comments
- Stratford 1993
When the cross was acquired from the Bouvier collection, it was mounted in the centre of a larger cross.
The engraving of details has a uniformity of line and strength, which is in marked contrast to the varied strokes of the Naaman group (registration no. 1884,0606.3) and the Henry of Blois plaques (1852,0327.1).
Microscopic examination reveals that the copper strip used for the cloisonné cell-work is irregular not only in its thickness but also in its smoothness. The champlevé cutting is economical, with walls of more or less even thickness, since the goldsmith's chief vehicle of expression is the enamel glasses. The enamel is brilliant, with a technical control that is virtuoso. The basic palette is: off-white, deep blue (7.5PB 2/6), turquoise (5B 4/6), deep green (10GY 3/4), yellow (7.5Y 6/6) and opaque red (10R 3/6). Variations are created by merging two or more glasses, e.g. yellow with deep green to make mid-green (7.5GY 4/4), and white with deep blue or turquoise to make mid- or pale blue (5PB 4/4 or 5/4) or mid-turquoise (5B 6/4). These purposefully created hues lend an extraordinary vitality to the palette. Sometimes, especially in the borders, haloes and grounds, a sharp distinction exists between the two or more separate colours of a mixed field, but elsewhere, especially in the draperies, colours are fired to shade imperceptibly into each other. Opaque red is used mostly on its own to accentuate details; when it is used in a mixed field, as e.g. to dapple the Brazen Serpent's body or for the blood in the bowl of the Tau scene, it is always isolated, and indeed is not mixed with the other glasses to produce variant hues (the reason for this was probably technical - see the Scientific Appendix on this high potash red glass). Inscriptions and the engraved details of hands, feet and faces are filled with deep blue enamel, with the notable exception of Jacob's mouth, which is red. Other unusual features of the palette are: the use of red in some octofoils in the blue borders on the left arm, when elsewhere only white is used; the single use of turquoise-green, for the ground under the Spies; white is seldom used on its own in the figured scenes, normally being combined with pale blue, even on Jacob's hair and the paschal lamb. It should be noted that there is no use of the pale lilac or the dark red translucent glasses found on certain other Mosan enamels (see registration nos. 1852,0327.1 and 1884,0606.3), and there is only a hesitant use of speckled enamel (see e.g. registration no. 1888,1110.2): white and turquoise on the calves of the legs of the left-hand spy, and turquoise, green and yellow on the legs of the figure in the Tau scene. Here the colour scheme is exclusively based on the juxtaposition of bright opaque colours. The condition of the enamel and gilding is remarkable, with only minor restorations to the top right corner of the Brazen Serpent scene in the enamelled frame and Moses' halo, where a paste has been filled in and painted; the same paste fills the top left corner of the enamelled frame of the Widow of Sarepta scene; as so often there is some oxidization of the copper walls, which gives the line drawing of certain of the heads a red instead of blue appearance.
Composition of the alloys (XRF analysis, British Museum Research Laboratory):
(top plaque) 99% Cu, <0.3% Zn, 1% Pb, <0.05% Sn, <0.1% As, <0.1% Ni, 0.4% Sb, <0.05% Fe, 0.1% Ag.
(left arm) 98% Cu, <0.3% Zn, 1.4% Pb, <0.05% Sn, <0.1% As, <0.1% Ni, 0.3% Sb, <0.05% Fe, 0.2% Ag.
(right arm) 98% Cu, <0.3% Zn ,1.1% Pb, <0.05% Sn, <0.1% As, <0.1% Ni, 0.4% Sb, <0.05% Fe, 0.2% Ag.
(bottom plaque) 98% Cu, <0.3% Zn, 1.4% Pb, <0.05% Sn, <0.1% As, <0.1% Ni, 0.6% Sb, <0.05% Fe, 0.1% Ag.
Description of the back or the cross:
(Berlin (formerly DDR), Staatliche Museen, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Schloss Köpenick, Inv. 1973, 187-189; first recorded in the collection of the connoisseur Peter Beuth (1781-1853); the Beuth collection acquired by the Prussian State in 1853; part of the collection of the Beuth-Schinkel Museum, Berlin, up to 1945; thence to the Staatliche Museen).
The left arm has been lost since 1945, but is known from old photographs, which served for the coloured replacement. The right arm is buckled, also since 1945. There are losses of enamel, most notably in the enamelled frame of the top and right-hand scenes and in the whole of the upper decorative border of the ornamental panel of the right arm. All the original gemstones are now lost, but Lessing 1884 describes three engraved gems which still survived: a carnelian with a standing bird; a lapis lazuli with a standing bird beside a tree; a lapis lazuli with an unrecognisable representation, perhaps of a dolphin; and some early pearls also survived at that time. The format of the four plaques making up the reverse of the cross is identical with that of the front of the cross (this object). Unlike this object, however, the upper plaque is entirely beaded around all its edges, including along the bottom edge of the central scene; as a result the height of the reverse of the cross is 3 mm more than that of the front, the upper plaque of which is trimmed; as on this object the two arms of the cross were never beaded on their inside edges.
The five enamelled scenes illustrate the legend of St Helena (c. 250-330 AD), the Emperor Constantine's mother, on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land in search of the True Cross. She discovered the Cross through the intervention of an old Jew, Judas, later known as Cyriacus; under torture he is forced to reveal where the True Cross is buried, his knowledge deriving from a tradition handed down secretly by his family, who dread its discovery, conscious of the power of the Cross and the threat it holds for the future of the Jewish creed (for the sources of the legend, see ‘Acta Sanctorum’ (Bollandists), Maii, 1, Antwerp, 1680, pp. 361-6; Augusti, III, 1737, pp. 561-6; cf. Frolow 1961, pp. 55 and ff.).
[(Left terminal) St Helena (HEL(ENA)) crowned and seated on the left, holding a sceptre, questions the bearded Judas on the right (IVD(AS)) about where the True Cross is buried; Judas denies all knowledge; behind him stand two beardless figures, perhaps Greeks who have brought him before the Empress.]
(Right terminal) St Helena (HEL(ENA)) crowned and seated on the right commands with a gesture of her right hand that the bearded Judas (IVD(AS)) standing on the left and accompanied by two beardless figures be subjected to trial by fire; in the centre are shown the flames (IGNIS), over which Judas' hand is stretched.
(Bottom terminal) Judas having been tortured into revealing the place, Golgotha, where the crosses of Christ and the two thieves who were crucified with Christ were buried, St Helena (HEL(ENA)), crowned and seated on the right, gestures with her right hand towards a group of three beardless figures and a bearded Jew, probably again Judas; they are digging with spades and a pick-axe, and the three crosses are revealed (I(N)VE(N)TIO S(ANCTAE) . CRVCIS).
(Central scene) The identification of which of the three crosses is the True Cross. The crowned St Helena (HEL(ENA)) stands behind a funeral bier, on which a young man is raised from the dead, his resurrection establishing the identity of the True Cross (MOR/TV(V)/SV/S C(RVX)); the cross is held over the bed by one of the four beardless figures, who stand at the sides behind the bier.
(Top terminal) St Helena (.HEL(ENA).) kneels on the right before an altar, on which the True Cross (S(ANCTA) . CRVX.) stands within a curtained room.
The palette of glasses and their distribution is identical with that of this object. However, in two important respects the effect of the enamel of the Berlin plaques is notably different: the goldsmith has employed turquoise as opposed to pale blue for the enamelled frame of each scene; secondly, he has used opaque red for Helena's nimbus (within a white edge), for the sleeves of her mantle and for the True Cross; he has given red a dominant role whereas it is sparingly used on this object, and in this way the entire colour balance has been altered. The decorative panels show the same layout as on this object but are varied in several ways. Their copper cloisonné borders have tiny patterns of dodecafoils and half-dodecafoils, as opposed to the octofoils and quatrefoils of this objecy; the pattern changes between the borders of the upright plaques and of the two arms; and a red splash in the centre of white within the dodecafoils is set against a deep blue ground (only on the left arm of this object is red introduced into the otherwise white and blue borders). The formerly gem-set cavities are arranged in the hatched spandrels of the decorative fields exactly as on this object but the enamelled lozenges and flowers are different: the lozenge borders are simpler, with only a single row of cloisonné quatrefoils, which are alternately white and yellow against a green ground (in the middle lozenge of the bottom plaque). Exactly as on this object, four-petalled flowers with central discs form the main motif within the lozenges, each one set against a small square panel, but here each is a slight variation on the same basic design as this object; on both sides of the cross the central lozenge of the lower plaque is a unique design which stands out from the rest not only because the square panel behind the flower is omitted but because the dominant green and red backgrounds of the other lozenges are replaced by turquoise and deep blue.
Dimensions of the back of the cross:
Height: (overall) 375 mm; (top plaque) 172 mm; (bottom plaque) 203 mm; (right arm) 67 mm.
Width: (overall) approx. 260 mm; (top and bottom plaques) 66 mm; (right arm) 97 mm.
(1) The original cross
None of the Mosan twelfth-century crosses which have survived intact have enamelled scenes on both front and back; there is a contrast between the enamelled front and less richly-decorated back, presumably because, as with the Mosan phylacteries (see registration nos. 1888,1110.3-6), these surviving crosses were meant to be seen principally from one side. However, at a period when the retable was still an exceptional, rather than the standard, embellishment of the altar, there is no liturgical reason to doubt that double-sided enamelled crosses were indeed made in the Mosan region, just as they were by the early Limoges workshops. Indeed, everything conspires to support the idea that the British Museum and Berlin crosses were the front and back of one and the same cross: principally, their identical dimensions (if the trimmings are discounted), the exactly repeated layout of the scenes and decorative panels and their identity of style and technique. The London and Berlin crosses are in certain respects antiphonal: for instance, the important use of red on the Berlin cross creates a different overall colour balance from that of the predominantly blue front of the cross; the flowers, their lozenges and the borders are subtly varied as between front and back; and if the gems that Lessing describes in 1884 were not nineteenth-century replacements, the back of the cross had different gemstones from the front and included some intaglios. The balance achieved on both the front and the back of the cross by placing two pairs of identical lozenges around the central scene or by 'pairing' gemstones on the Museum's cross diagonally across the larger stones is the antithesis of such contrasts, but both are symptoms of the same aesthetic, a conscious play of symmetry/asymmetry which can be found in other Mosan enamelled works, such as registration no. 1978,0502.7 and its companion gable-end in Baltimore.
The wooden core of the cross must have had decorated sides, probably repoussé gilt-copper strips or filigree plaques. This core must also have slotted into a foot, probably with a spike. Whether or not there was a framing border around the enamels on the front and back is more difficult to judge. However, the cross, even if it was larger, has always had the same simple shape, judging by the evidence of the scenes in which the True Cross appears: the London-Berlin cross was probably meant to be read as an image of the True Cross, just as we see it represented by the goldsmith in the St Helena story (cf. the Widow of Sarepta's two crossed sticks).
The five Old Testament scenes are well-known Mosan 'types' of the Cross, that is they are 'typological', establishing a correspondence between episodes of the Old Testament and the crucified Christ: Jacob forms a cross with his arms (cf. Berengosus, abbot of St Maximin at Trier (d. 1125): “Haec est ilia lux quae in manibus Jacob mysterium crucis praefigurare volebat, cum minori dextram, et majori sinistram superponere solebat” (‘de Mysterio Ligni Dominici’, in PL, CLX, cols 993-4)); the Brazen Serpent is raised up on its column like Christ on the cross (“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John III, 14)); the widow of Sarepta forms a cross with her two sticks; the slaughtered lamb of the Passover prefigures the crucified Christ, shedding his blood to serve mankind; the grapes brought from the Promised Land anticipate the consecrated wine of the Eucharist, cf. the inscription on a Mosan enamel in the Bargello, Florence: BOTR(VS) PORTATVRQVO XPS SIGNIFICATVR (“the grape is carried, by which Christ is signified”); see Thierry Crépin-Leblond, Les préfigurations du Pressoir Mystique dans l’art médiéval, in ed. Danièle Alexandre-Bidon, ‘Le Pressoir Mystique. Actes du colloque de Recloses, 27 mai 1989’, Paris, 1990, pp. 81, 83 (fig. 28). This is not an ambitious typological cycle, such as can be found in English art in the twelfth century and survives from Nicolas of Verdun's ambo at Klosterneuburg of 1181 (see remarks on typological cycles, under registration no. 1884,0606.3 and 1888,1110.2, and particularly Haussherr 1978). It is rather the more normal Mosan typological arrangement of a number of individual scenes, each referring to a central theme, in this case the Cross. The Berlin side of the cross is complementary, the story of the finding of the True Cross, that is the narrative of the discovery of the relic, rounding off the theological message of the front. Each of the three surviving Mosan enamelled objects with the True Cross legend, which can be judged intact, contains a relic of the True Cross: the Stavelot Triptych, the lost phylactery from Lobbes, and the reliquary in the treasury at Tongres (Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 258-9 (no. 49), col. pl.; Kötzsche 1973 (a), pp. 213,211 (pls 28-9)). It is probable that the London-Berlin cross also housed a relic of the True Cross. If so, how was the relic housed within the cross and how displayed? Mosan True Cross reliquaries are invariably organised so that the relic itself can be uncovered for display, and it therefore seems possible that the London-Berlin cross could be opened up in some way (for Mosan True Cross reliquaries, see Frolow 1961, pp. 354-7 (nos 393-5)). As to the evidence of the three relics housed in the second half of the sixteenth century in the terminals of the reconstructed cross onto which registration no. 1856,0718.1 was pinned, they do not include a True Cross relic (see below); but of course it is unlikely that they had anything to do with the original twelfth-century cross.
(2) Related enamels
(a) The second (reconstructed) ‘typological’ cross
A second two-sided cross can be reconstructed from ten plaques, which are now dispersed between Köln (Schnütgen-Museum), Harburg, Nantes (Musée Dobrée), the Louvre and Stuttgart. For a description, Bibl. and illustrations, see partic. Gauthier 1972, pp. 130, 347-8 (cat. no. 87); Kötzsche 1973 (a), p. 212, ills pp. 208-9; Dietrich Kötzsche, in Catalogue ‘Die Zeit der Staufer’ 1977, I, pp. 414-17 (no. 550); II, pls. 343-9. Each side of the cross has in the centre a square plaque of Christ (both now in Harburg); on one side, probably the front, the four Evangelists are shown on the terminals writing their Gospels, inspired by their symbols (for these Evangelist terminals (now in Köln, Stuttgart and the Louvre)). The intermediate rectangular areas of each arm do not have the decorative panels of the London-Berlin cross; here the foliate lozenges are replaced by Old Testament typological scenes, the sacrifice of Cain and Abel, the sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham and Melchisedech, the blind Samson pulling down the Philistines' temple and the Brazen Serpent scene. The four arms of the other side of the cross have angelic images on the terminals (now in Nantes, Stuttgart and the Louvre): at the bottom, St Michael spearing a many-headed dragon, and on the arms a Cherub and a Seraph, while at the top the angel of the Lord holding the True Cross stands behind the walls of the city of Jerusalem; in the intermediate rectangles of each arm are three scenes showing the legend of the recovery of the True Cross from the Persian king, Chosröes, and its return to Jerusalem by the Emperor Heraclius in the seventh century AD; while above and below the central Christ enamel are two further Old Testament typological scenes, at the top Moses striking the rock with his staff to bring forth the life-giving waters (Numbers XX, 11), at the bottom the Tan-marker of Ezekiel IX, 3-4. The second typological cross was substantially bigger than the London-Berlin cross, but its format (again a simple cross with rectangular arms) and layout (with the same cloisonné cell-work in the decorative borders, and again a square scene in the centre and on each terminal), are so closely related to the London-Berlin cross that it can be assumed without too much risk of error that both crosses were made by the same goldsmith's workshop. The same glasses are used and with the same virtuoso brilliance. What is more, the drawing style and the approach to narrative are identical. In one case only, that of the Brazen Serpent, can two like scenes be compared; even if they differ in minor details, it is immediately obvious that they are based on the same model; indeed so closely do they compare that it is impossible to decide which was the source for the nineteenth-century fake enamel of the Brazen Serpent (registration no. 1868,0627.1). Unfortunately nothing is known of the earliest history of the second typological cross or how it came to be broken up. Four of its ten plaques have recently been identified in the sale of the collection of the comte de Saint-Morys in Paris in 1818 (Françoise Arquié-Bruley, Un précurseur: le comte de Saint-Morys (1772-1817), collectionneur 'd'antiquités nationales', in ‘Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 6ème période’, XCVII, 123c année, 1981, pp. 61-77, and partic. pp. 67 (no. 93), 71-2). However, it is not clear from the sale catalogue description precisely which were the four plaques from the cross included in this sale (for a discussion of this, see under registration no. 1868,0627.1). As to the two centre plaques of the cross, they probably entered the Oettingen-Wallerstein collection in Schloss Harburg between 1811-23, while the three plaques now in the Louvre were acquired in 1825 and 1828, from the Durand and Révoil collections. Thus, the cross has early nineteenth-century Parisian and South German connections, but these do not give it a medieval provenance, and it is not dated.
(b) The Stavelot Triptych
Both the London-Berlin cross and the (reconstructed) second typological cross are closely related to the enamels of the so-called Stavelot Holy Cross reliquary-triptych in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (von Falke and Frauberger 1904, text vol. pp. 68, 69 (pl. 21), 87; Read 1910; Gauthier 1972, pp. 124-6, 343-4 (cat. no. 81); Brodsky 1972; Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 208-9 (no. 27), col. pl.; Verdier 1975, pp. 5-17; Brodsky 1978; William Voelkle, in Catalogue ‘The Stavelot Triptych’ 1980, passim). There are six enamelled roundels (diameter 108 mm) on the two wings of the Triptych, of which three tell the legend of the Finding of the True Cross by St Helena. They have points of iconographic detail in common with the Berlin cross, e.g. in the scene of the raising of the dead man; so much so that a direct relationship between Berlin and the Morgan enamels is certain. The drawing style of the Stavelot Triptych is also closely similar to that of the London-Berlin cross: as can be seen in the London x-ray, the goldsmith engraves the heads with a uniform series of bold lines and the walls of the champlevé fields are cut in a remarkably similar fashion. However, the enamel technique in New York is even more ambitious, with a wide range of intermediate hues, a pronounced preference for deep combinations of colours, a brilliantly successful use of translucent deep red fired over gold foil and several examples of a remarkable speckled enamel to render marbled surfaces (the technique is introduced only hesitantly on this object). By way of hypothesis one might conjecture that the two crosses were indeed made by the same workshop but at a somewhat later date than the Triptych. If their drawing is identical, their position vis-a-vis the early Berlin MS (for which see below) is at one further remove from that of the Triptych.
The date of the Stavelot Triptych has normally been argued from the presence of two Middle Byzantine gold enamelled reliquary-triptychs remounted in the central field. Verdier 1961, p. 169 (note 1) stated that the Byzantine enamel reliquaries came from Trier and were not part of the original Triptych, basing his opinion on the caption to an old photograph of the little reliquaries, published in Hermann Bunjes, Nikolaus Irsch et al., ‘Die Kirchlichen Denkmäler der Stadt Trier’, Düsseldorf, 1938, pp. 321 (fig. 241), 324. However, Verdier 1975, p. 15 (note 30), corrects his own error; already in the late nineteenth century the Byzantine enamels formed part of the Triptych (see Ferdinand Luthmer, ‘Das Email. Handbuch der Schmelzarbeit’, Leipzig, 1892, pp. 72, 73 (fig. 10); Dr Franz Bock, ‘Die Byzantinischen Zellenschmelze der Sammlung Dr. Alex. von Swenigorodskoï’. . ., Aachen, 1896, pp. 181-4, 226-33, pl. XI). The recent technical examination of the enamels and the relics which they contain undertaken at the Pierpont Morgan Library and published by Voelkle has now proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Triptych was made to receive them. It has often been suggested that the relics and the Byzantine enamels were presented to abbot Wibald of Stavelot (1130-58) by Manuel I Comnenos during one of Wibald's imperial embassies to Constantinople in 1155-6 or 1157-8; in which case, the Mosan enamelled Triptych incorporating the Byzantine enamels would date from the end of Wibald's life, c. 1156-8. This is circumstantial and it is more prudent to admit that the Triptych is not dated.
The provenance of the Triptych from Stavelot is however reasonably assured. Franz Bock in 1896 (see above) recorded that the Triptych was removed from Stavelot at the French Revolution by the last abbot, Coelestin Thys, and taken with him into exile at Hanau, near Frankfurt, where it remained in the possession of the Walz family who still owned it in 1896. For abbot Thys, who finally left Stavelot on 21 July 1794 and died in November 1796, see Georges Hansotte, Histoire de la Révolution dans la principauté de Stavelot-Malmedy, in ‘Bulletin de l’Institut Archéologique Liégeois’, t. LXIX, 1952, pp. 5-129, partic. p. 111. For this history, see also von Falke and Frauberger 1904, p. 68; Read 1910, pp. 26-7; Voelkle 1980, pp. 10-11 (I have not consulted William Voelkle, ‘The Iconography of the Finding of the True Cross in Mosan Art of the Last Half of the Twelfth Century’, Columbia University, New York, Ph.D thesis, 1968). None of this is reassuring, but the Walz family also possessed certain charters of Stavelot, so that the provenance of the Triptych is indeed probable (see Jos. Halkin and C.-G. Roland, ‘Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Stavelot-Malmedy’, Brussels, 1909, p. LXII).
In the literature, the Triptych has always been associated with the other known enamel works from Stavelot. This has helped to obscure its art-historical position. For, whatever the precise provenance of the Triptych, it is markedly different in both its technique and its style from the three known enamel works which can be definitely associated with Stavelot. These are:
(1) The 1145 head-reliquary of St Alexander (Usener 1934 (b); Squilbeck 1943; Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 194-5 (no. 20), col. pl.; Catalogue ‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 250 (GII); Catalogue ‘Die Zeit der Staufer’ 1977, I, pp. 404-6 (no. 542); II ,pl. 333). The head-reliquary was purchased by the Musées Royaux in the nineteenth century from Xhendelesse, near Verviers. For the thirteenth-century transcription of the account of the translation of the relics into a silver head by abbot Wibald on 13 April (Good Friday) 1145, see Halkin and Roland, op. cit., I, p. 375 (no. 180); Philippe George, ‘Les reliques de Stavelot-Malmedy, Nouveaux Documents’, Malmedy, 1989, pp. 54,90-2.
(2) The great retable of St Remaclus, known from a drawing of 1661 (Fig. 2), two enamels of Virtues in Berlin and Frankfurt and some fragments of inscriptions (see, above all, Krempel 1971; Kötzsche 1978 and 1985).
(3) The portable altar in Brussels (see, above all, von Falke 1932; Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 218-19 (no. 32), col. pl.; Catalogue ‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 252 (G13), with Bibl.; Catalogue ‘Die Zeit der Staufer’ 1977, I, pp. 409-10 (no. 544); II, pl. 336). The enamels of these three Stavelot objects are as different one from the other as they all are from the enamels of the Stavelot Triptych. The conclusion must be that we should view with suspicion any hypothesis of 'monastic' goldsmiths' workshops; it is much more plausible to consider these enamels as the productions of urban workshops, in towns like Liège or Huy. The Stavelot Triptych is not therefore precisely localised. It nevertheless stands as the cornerstone of an enamel workshop, which also made the London-Berlin cross and the second typological cross, and this workshop is for convenience here labelled the 'Stavelot Triptych workshop'. The Triptych probably dates from the 1150s, even though the abbot Wibald connection is not certain, while the two crosses may tentatively be attributed to the 1160s.
(c) Other related enamels and ‘Stavelot’.
Several other enamels survive which go closely with the Triptych and the two crosses, even though none measures up to them in the virtuosity of the firing.
In this Catalogue, the two reconstructed phylacteries (registration nos. 1888,1110.3-6), with respectively four typological scenes and the four Evangelists writing their gospels, have an iconography closely similar to the corresponding scenes on the two crosses: Jacob blessing his grandsons, the Brazen Serpent, the sacrifice of Isaac (cf. the scene on the second typological cross, now in the Louvre, where the arresting angel has been placed at the top right, making nonsense of the fact that Abraham is looking over his shoulder to the left), and the marking of the Tau on the foreheads of the righteous (cf. the scene in Köln, where the protagonists are reversed). As to the Evangelist plaques of the second phylactery, they are based on a model shared with the second typological cross; a process of selection and omission is at work, with variations of detail and a cavalier attitude as to which Evangelist is which (the model for St Luke on the cross becomes St John on the phylactery). As for the now lost phylactery, once probably at Lobbes, the close relationship of its St Helena scenes to those on the Berlin cross, makes it likely that it too was a production of this workshop, see registration nos. 1888,1110.3-6 and 1913,1220.1 from a Holy Cross reliquary-triptych, like the triptychs in Paris is also connected by its style and technique to the crosses and the phylacteries. For a discussion of its relationship to certain other enamels, e.g. those reused on a portable altar in the State Hermitage, St Petersburg see registration no. 1913,1220.1. There are further evidences of the profound influence of the 'Stavelot Triptych workshop' among the ‘disjecta membra’ of Mosan enamel. It is for instance certain that the Passover plaque (registration no. 1856,1217.1) is based on precisely the same model as the scene on the right arm of the Museum's cross, since even the details of the building are repeated; yet the firing of the enamel glasses on this plaque is only moderately successful.
Many other enamels have been attributed to the 'Stavelot Triptych workshop'. Given the extreme difficulty of attributing enamels to 'hands' and particularly in the Mosan milieu where common model-books and common technical procedures seem to have migrated, sometimes over more than one generation, from one workshop to another, a degree of scepticism is required. We know nothing of how these workshops were constituted, whether they consisted of specialists for each technique (casting, enamelling, etc.), whether they were urban or peripatetic. Brodsky 1978 offered a pan-Stavelot series of attributions; her group has been modified or enlarged by Chapman 1980 (pp. 47-8, 54) and Verdier 1981 (p. 25); and a prudent reserve from Lasko 1972 and Kötzsche 1973 (a) (passim) was followed by some useful stylistic judgements from Lemeunier 1976.
First and foremost, it is necessary to discard from the immediate group the 'Naaman series' (see registration no. 1884,0606.3), the drawing style of which is markedly different. Secondly, the two surviving medallions of the St Remaclus retable, have already been mentioned; their importance to our understanding of the history of Mosan enamel cannot be overestimated, but there can be no question of the London-Berlin cross being made in the same workshop; Kötzsche's dating of the St Remaclus enamels to c. 1150 seems probable. Closely related to them and therefore to be excluded from the immediate 'Stavelot Triptych group' are the enamels of the Notger book-cover in Liège, and the Darmstadt book-cover (Catalogue ‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, pp. 256-7 (G 19), 259 (G22), with full Bibl.). As to the Arenberg triptych, now in New York, and its related enamels, see registration nos. 1878,1101.15-16. The enamels associated with the Liège Holy Cross triptych, the two Huy shrines of St Domitian and St Mengold and the St Oda gable from Amay, all dating from c. 1170, are yet another distinct group (see discussion in registration no. 1978,0502.7). If the latter group shares certain technical features with the London-Berlin cross, particularly the technique of gilt-copper hatched and gem-set panels and the method of backing cabochon crystals with silver foil, then so do other enamels which are not stylistically related or of the same date, such as the St Alexander head-reliquary of 1145.
More problematic is the position of the St Andrew triptych, now at Trier but first recorded in a Köln collection (for the mid-nineteenth-century history of the Trier triptych, see the unpublished Protokollbuch of the Cathedral Chapter of Trier (Bistumsarchiv Trier, Abt. 53, 6, Nr. 11), meeting of 18 December 1848, where it is recorded that the Chapter will purchase the triptych from the pastor of Neuwied (near Koblenz) for 25 Louis D'Or, and that the triptych had previously been in the possession of the Archivist, Herr von Knopäus, who had himself purchased it for 25-27 Louis D'Or “von einem Herrn aus Cöln” i.e. almost certainly a Köln dealer (Information Norbert Jopek). For the triptych, see also Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 210-n (no. 28), col. pl.; Catalogue ‘Schatzkunst Trier’, Trier, 1984, p. 113 (no. 44), col. pl. 5). Its enamels share many stylistic features with the London-Berlin cross and its iconography is also closely related to the Cross Legend scenes on the Berlin side of the cross; but the idiosyncratic palette with bold bands of opaque orange/red, fired in mixed fields, and the strong emphasis on greens and turquoise makes it a unicum.
Finally, one of the best-preserved and most elaborate of surviving Mosan enamels, the cross-foot from the abbey of St-Bertin at St-Omer, now in the Musée de l'Hôtel Sandelin at St-Omer, has generally been associated in the literature with the London cross; the iconography of its typological scenes is in many respects similar, and all the scenes on the London cross reappear at St-Omer (Usener 1939; Verdier 1966/1967, passim, figs 8-16; Gauthier 1972, pp. 132, 348-9 (cat. no. 88); Catalogue ‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 254-5 (G 17); Chapman 1980, etc.). However, in my opinion the drawing style of its enamels is more monumental and its cast figures presuppose the style of the Senlis Cathedral west portal of c, 1170. An elaborate technique of speckled enamel is employed freely on the cross-foot, with extensive use of turquoise in the palette and of reserved metal studs in the enamel fields, which pick up the gilding and thus contribute gold flecks to the coloured areas. These features point to a more advanced date in the twelfth century, perhaps even within the abbacy of Simon II of St-Bertin (1177-86) (cf. the views expressed by Usener 1939; Gaborit-Chopin 1982, pp. 306-7, ill. p. 305).
(d) The Vatican book-cover
As to the purely decorative enamel panels of the London-Berlin cross, their leaf forms can be paralleled in Mosan MSS, e.g. in the Bible of Malmedy (Vatican MS lat. 8857, see Lapière 1981, panic, fig. 267). They are by no means so easy to parallel in goldsmiths' work. However, there are four closely similar square enamel plaques on a book-cover in the Vatican library (Codex Palatino latino 502; the dimensions of the plaques are H. 47 mm, W. 47 mm; overall, the book-cover is H. 275 mm, W. 190 mm. See W. F. Volbach, La legatura del codice Pal. lat. 502 nella Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, in ‘La Bibliofilia’, XXXIX, 1937, pp. 433-9; F. Stohlman, ‘Gli smalti del Museo Vaticano’, Vatican, 1939, p. 29 (S9), pl. III; Rainer Kahsnitz, in Catalogue ‘Biblioteca Palatina’, Heidelberg, 1986, pp. 510-12 (T1). The plaques share exactly the same mixed technique, the same geometric cloisonné borders and champlevé central squares with foliate motifs as well as the same enamel colours. The book-cover itself is of the late fifteenth century, like the manuscript it covers, which is a lectionary written for the Augustinian Canons of Ravengiersburg in the Hunsrück mountains, north-east of Trier. On the other hand, the various champlevé enamels and the central ivory remounted on the cover are probably from a twelfth-century book-cover, since it is possible to imagine them all mounted as on the Schnütgen-Museum book-cover (Steenbock 1965, pp. 199-200 (no. 100), pl. 137; Catalogue ‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 276 (H16)), with the Rivers of Paradise (originally four, not two roundels) also on the same book-cover, just as they are on the Notger book-cover in Liège (‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 256 (G19)). The two surviving Vatican Rivers of Paradise are Mosan c. 1160-70, cf. the roundels of the Darmstadt book-cover (‘Rhein und Maas’ 1972, I, p. 259 (G 22)). This filiation lends further substance to the hypothesis of a connection between the Vatican decorative square panels and those on the London-Berlin cross. Unfortunately the original manuscript context of the Vatican enamels has been irrevocably lost.
(e) The problem of the ‘Model-books’
When the relationships between the different enamels of the London-Berlin cross, the second typological cross, the Stavelot Triptych, the two reconstructed phylacteries, the lost Lobbes phylactery and the Vatican book-cover are taken together, the unavoidable conclusion must be that they are the productions of a single goldsmith's workshop. To this central group, as we have seen, certain other enamels can perhaps be added. Comparison of like scene with like strongly implies the existence of Mosan model-books (the best general survey of model-books remains Scheller 1963, and see also Hugo Buchtal, ‘The ‘Musterbuch’ of Wolfenbüttel and its Position in the Art of the Thirteenth Century’, Vienna, 1979). On the one hand, these could have been of the type of the Berlin MS and the Liège and V&A leaves (for which see registration nos. 1852,0327.1 and 1884,0606.3 and above all, Klemm 1973; Swarzenski 1974). On the other hand, individual motifs, leaf and geometric designs, animals, figures and whole compositions must have been available to be 'lifted' from the model-books and rearranged or reversed to form new compositions, as e.g. with the Cistercian Musterbuch from Rein in Austria of c. 1200 (Scheller 1963, pp. 84-7 (no. 9); and above all the facsimile with commentary by Franz Unterkircher, ‘Reiner Musterbuch’, Graz, 1979). The actual model-books, like most working sketchbooks, have not survived, but there must have been collections of vellum quires grouping together sketches, similar to those so carefully drawn on the Berlin, Liège and London folios; Chapman 1980 implies that these were the actual goldsmiths' model-books, but as Swarzenski argues, what we probably have is fragments of two different collections of leaves which are models for illustrated bible-cycles, even if they could have been known in goldsmiths' workshops. The Reiner Musterbuch with its series of motifs and patterns is clearly another type of repertoire which would have been available. It is particularly instructive to compare the Berlin leaves with the surviving enamels. The drawings are invariably fuller in their details, the varying format of the enamels creating the need for omissions and reversals (with vellum the image could be easily reversed, when held up to the light and traced through the verso). Above all, misunderstandings creep in: as Chapman has shown, in the scene of Jacob blessing his grandsons on this object, what was once a pillow has become an ambiguous rounded form on the left, now apparently part of the curtains. And in the same scene we can observe in remarkable fashion the process of 'chinese whispers' in action: the whole point of the Old Testament story on the British Museum cross has been lost; the goldsmith has transposed the inscriptions, so that Manasseh the elder son is blessed by his grandfather; even more bizarre is the plaque of the same scene, remounted on a cross in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Inv. M. 7234-1860 - for the cross, see Verdier 1966/1967, pp. 37, 38-9 (figs 22-3); Collon-Gevaert 1972, pp. 231-2 (no. 37), col. pl.; Chapman 1980, pp. 44-5, fig. 17), where not only is Manasseh as opposed to Ephraim again shown being blessed by Jacob's right hand, but Ephraim's inscription is replaced by BENGA/MIN, who has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. Such mistakes of iconography are only comprehensible if it is admitted that the goldsmith copied the inscriptions from separate epigraphical models in his workshop and occasionally muddled them. The inscriptions were probably the last thing added to the plaque at the end of the champlevé process before firing, since the letters can often be seen to fit uneasily into the available reserved areas. Explanatory inscriptions such as survive in the Berlin MS, where they gloss each picture, acted as an aide-mémoire to the goldsmith, who must have adopted names or phrases from these short texts and turned them into inscriptions to help the spectator, at the same time using the letter forms from a current stock in the workshop. It should be noted that the inscriptions are frequently engraved with less control and accuracy than the rest of the scene, perhaps a sign that they were left to be added by an assistant.
The remaining four scenes on the London cross also have iconographic counterparts on other Mosan enamels. Moses and the Brazen Serpent is closer to the same scene on the plaque, now in the Schniütgen-Museum, Köln, on loan from the Peter Ludwig collection, which was part of the second typological cross, than to any other Mosan version of the same scene (for a nineteenth-century copy after one of these two plaques, see registration no. 1868,0627.1). The Passover, the Widow of Sarepta and the two spies with the grapes also have numerous enamel parallels, for instance on the St-Bertin cross-foot (Verdier 1966/ 1967, figs 11, 13, 14) and the latter scene is particularly close to a plaque in the Bargello, Florence, whose inscription has already been quoted as spelling out the Eucharistic significance of the grapes; another comparable version of the scene was formerly in Lord Carmichael's collection (anon., Some early enamels in the collections of Lord Carmichael, in ‘Apollo’, II, September 1925, p. 129 (ill. top right)).
As to the enamels of the Stavelot Triptych, they are, as is well known, closely related to certain images in the Berlin MS (for this, see most recently Voelke 1980, pls 24, 27). Indeed the relationship is far more direct than it is between the MS and the London-Berlin cross.
(3) The provenance of the Bouvier cross
By the time that William Maskell acquired the cross from Bouvier in 1855, it had been for nearly three hundred years mounted with other medieval enamels on a bigger cross with trilobed terminals and decorated with silvered-copper stamped ornament. The cut-down Mosan enamel plaque of Isaiah (registration no. 1856,0718.2) was set into the upper terminal of the Bouvier cross. On the other three terminals were mounted three early fourteenth-century Upper Rhenish-Bodensee copper champlevé enamel roundels of superb quality, with the Descent from the Cross, the Entombment of Christ and the eagle, symbol of St John, the latter bigger than the others (Diameters: Passion roundels 45 mm; Eagle 65 mm). These reused Gothic enamels can be approximately dated and localised, cf. particularly the enamels of the Klosterneuburg ciborium, and the Sulzberg cross, which may even be by the same goldsmith (see Hans-Jörgen Heuser, ‘Oberrheinische Goldschmiedekunst im Hochmittelalter’, Berlin, 1974, pls 278 ff.; Johann Michael Fritz, ‘Goldschmiedekunst der Gotik in Mitteleuropa’, Munich, 1982, pp. 191-2, 215-16, pls 60, 226-9).
The Upper Rhine-Bodensee origin of the three remounted Gothic enamels is already symptomatic. As to the stamped silvered-copper ornaments of the trilobed terminals of the cross, they consist of poorly executed foliage scrolls and (on the reverse) representations of the ‘Arma Christi’ surrounding the ‘Agnus Dei’. There are several crosses of this form as well as a fashion for similar scrollwork and for Counter-Reformation iconography during the second half of the sixteenth century in the region of Konstanz, cf. e.g. a sixteenth-century cross in the Konstanz Cathedral Treasury (see Heribert Reiners, ‘Das Münster Unserer Lieben Frau zu Konstanz’, Konstanz, 1955, pp. 530-2, pls 472-3). Following the destruction of the treasuries in the Diocese of Konstanz by Zwingli and his followers, and particularly in 1529-30, came the rapid refurbishment of the diocesan treasuries after the 1548 re-establishment of the church. (R. Mols, Constance (Diocèse), in ‘Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie Ecclésiastiques’, XIII, Paris, 1956, partic. cols 562-3, with Bibl.). It seems probable that at this time the Museum's Mosan cross, like other venerable works of art which had survived the Protestants, was incorporated into a new cross, together with some relics and other medieval disjecta membra, the main cross hurriedly and cheaply made. For a reused Carolingian rock crystal on a Konstanz cross of 1560-3, see Hermann Gombert, ‘Der Freiburger Münsterschatz’, Freiburg/Basel/Vienna, 1965, pp. 68-70 (no. 20), pls 34-5. The relics found behind the two Gothic enamels on the terminals of the Bouvier cross are: (1) a piece of bone (a fibula?), not labelled and contained within a tiny knitted linen bag with silk strings for suspension (sixteenth century?) (information Hero Granger-Taylor); (2) two parcels of relics wrapped up in paper, each apparently fragments of stone or marble, with the following tituli: (a) ‘S(an)c(t)o loco ubi Johannes/Baptista natus fuit’ ('From the holy place where John the Baptist was born'); (b) ‘Ubi Apostoli se ab[di]lderunt propter iuxtiml iudeorum’ ('From where the Apostles hid themselves on account of the proximity of the Jews'), i.e. two relics of buildings in the Holy Land. The script may be seen as a sixteenth-century German Cursive, incorporating Secretary and Anglicana features (information Michelle Brown). As to the Berlin side of the twelfth-century Mosan cross, we know nothing of where its first recorded owner, Peter Beuth, acquired it in the nineteenth century (could the 'cameo-like' busts of a nimbed woman and un-nimbed man on the reverse of the sixteenth-century cross be St Helena and Heraclius, thus implying a local knowledge of the Helena side of the cross?). What is certain is that in the second half of the sixteenth century or c. 1600 in or near Konstanz, a local metalworker created a pastiche of a fourteenth-century cross with trilobed terminals (a typical local form of Gothic altar-cross), and on it he remounted the Museum's Mosan cross. It is therefore a fair assumption that the cross was in the Diocese of Konstanz in the Middle Ages. Many medieval relics of the True Cross are recorded in this southern region of Germany and adjacent Switzerland (Frolow 1961, passim, but see partic. no. 138 (Konstanz), and others at Reichenau, St Gall, Schaffhausen, Einsiedeln, Zwiefalten, etc.). It is to be hoped that a future discovery in the archives will shed further light on the south German origins of the cross (information and references Johann Michael Fritz).
- Bibliographic references
Stratford 1993 / Catalogue of Medieval Enamels in the British Museum. Volume II. Northern Romanesque Enamel (no4)
Verdier 1970 / La grande croix de l'abbe Suger a Saint-Denis (p10 (note 30), figs9-10)
Collon-Gevaert 1951 / Histoire des arts du métal en Belgique (pp164-5, 173-4)
Rave 1935 / Die Kunssammlung Beuths (pp484-5)
Mitchell 1920 / Some Enamels of the School of Godefroid de Claire (noXXXIV, pp165-71)
Von Falke & Frauberger 1904 / Deutsche Schmelzarbeiten des Mittelalters und andere Kunstwerke der Kunsthistorischen Auusstellung zu Dusseldorf 1902 (pp70 (fig. 22), 73, 81, 131, pl. 74)
Kraus 1894 / Die Christlichen Inschriften der Rheinlande (p299 (no652))
Dusevel 1856 / Ameublements et costumes du moyen âge dans le département de la Somme (pp157-58, pl III, no1 (opp. p. 157))
Bagnoli, Klein, Mann & Robinson 2011 / Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe (86)
Robinson 2008 / Masterpieces of Medieval Art (p. 66)
- On display (G40/dc13/sB)
- Exhibition history
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'
2002 20 Mar-28 Apr, Spain, Silos, Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos, De Limoges a Silos
2002 16 Jan-28 Feb, Belgium, Brussels, BBL's Exhibition Room, De Limoges a Silos
2001 15 Nov-30 Dec, Spain, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, De Limoges a Silos
- Associated events
Associated Event: Return of the Spies
Associated Event: Marking of the Tau
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased in 1856 from William Maskell, esq., of Bristol, who had himself bought it from M. Bouvier, of Amiens in 1855; at which time it was mounted, together with registration no. 1856,0718.2 and three Upper Rhenish fourteenth-century enamels, on a South German wooden reliquary-cross with silvered-copper decoration, dating from the second half of the sixteenth century; total price £105.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number