Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Casket; copper; gilt; Limoges work; front: enamelled figures on a vermiculé gilt ground; two scenes of lovers, man playing stringed instrument with lady dancing; lover kneeling to his lady, who holds strap around his neck; figure in black holding key and sword; each side decorated with two medallions, surrounded by enamelled foliage and containing reserved gilt figures: monster, lion, man and woman; knight in combat with lion; lid split vertically by strip of enamelled rosettes, metal handle linking two sections; two medallions on each half on aground of reserved foliage with enamelled palmettes and rosettes; left side: one medallion with mounted knight and lion, other medallion with man and lady with hawk; right side: one medallion with mounted knight, the other with man playing instrument to lady with hawk; back decorated with rows of enamelled quatrefoils.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1180 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 217 millimetres
    • Width: 116 millimetres
    • Depth: 165 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This casket must have been intended for secular use, with its scenes of courtly life. It is a high-quality product of the Limoges workshops, and the use of vermiculé indicates that it falls into the early group of surviving works (see Gauthier). There has been considerable discussion about the identity and purpose of the mysterious black figure on the front of the casket (see Cherry). See departmental enamel index. PSH 28.10.91. Compare with WADD.19
    The Year 1200, 1970 no. 173


  • Bibliography

    • Gauthier 1987 173 bibliographic details
    • Gauthier 1972 50, p330 bibliographic details
    • Camille 1998 p. 11 bibliographic details
    • Robinson 2008 p. 211 bibliographic details
    • Cherry 1991 pp55-56 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2017 14 Feb - 30 Apr, Sarasota, Marble and John Ringling Museum of Art, A Sense of Beauty: Medieval Art and the Five Senses
    2016-2017 15 Oct - 8 Jan, Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, A Sense of Beauty: Medieval Art and the Five Senses
    2015 – 2016 4 Dec – 29 May, National Museum of Singapore, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
    2004 26 Mar-27 Jun, France, Paris, Musee de la Musique, Entre ordre et désordre

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCM3973

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