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Casket with arches and bands of rosettes (coffret; décor de roses; frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (End, left)

Casket with arches and bands of rosettes (coffret; décor de roses; frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (End, left)
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Body, front

Body, back


End, right

End, left



Front, open

Body, front

Body, back

End, right


Secular. Courtly love. Arthurian romance.

Repository Institution

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Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum

KK 998

Ivory;gilt bronze (later fittings);wood (core and bottom)

Height: 66mm
Width: 220mm
Depth: 110mm

Unidentified crowned female saint holding a martyr's palm and a book. Adoration of the Magi; attendants with horses; angel crowning the Virgin; Virgin holding a flower; rosettes in the spandrels; pinnacles.
Body, front
Courting couple (meeting of lovers); youth kneeling before a lady. Lady holding a dog; crouching men supporting the lock on their backs, including a bearded man with a crutch; standing knight in armour with outstretched arm. Knight lying on a bed attended by two ladies; knight asleep.
End, right
Knight on horseback charging with a spear; bearded man on horseback with a bow.
Body, back
Courting couple (meeting of lovers); lady crowning her kneeling lover with a chaplet. Lady charging with a spear and shield; knight in armour on horseback, holding a cup or chalice. Youth kneeling before a lady; trees.
End, left
Elopement; couple on horseback; knight in armour; monster on the horse’s head; castle; trees.

Koechlin Number: 1312

Koechlin 1924: France, 1st half of 14th century.
Nuremberg 1993: France, 2nd third of the 14th century.
Museum's opinion 2012: France (Paris?), 14th century (19th-century assemblage of 14th-century parts).


Carved on all sides.

Object Condition
Several deep cracks, re-filled holes on the right end.
The ivory panels have been fitted onto a wooden core; lid is warped.
The cup or chalice held by one of the figures on the back panel is a later replacement (see Warren 2014).

The scenes represented on the sides of the casket may be depicting romance scenes featuring Perceval le Gallois (Percival) and King Arthur. A modern copy of this casket exists in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence (Inv. 46.567).

Collection of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (b. 1752-d. 1840), Göttingen/Gotha; Gotha Museum (disappeared from the Museum at some point during World War II); Weinmüller sale, Munich, 13-15 November 1957, lot 1036. Monheim collection, Aachen (in 1971). Collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig, Cologne; their donation to the Museum in 1977.

'Die Geschichte des Grafen Ernst von Gleichen und seiner beiden Frauen an einem Schnitzwerk dargestellt', in Polyanthea: Ein Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1807 (Münster, 1807), pp. 202-212 (p. 202).
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 474, 513, 520, 521; II, no. 1312; III, pl. CCXVI.
D. Fouquet, 'Das Elfenbeinkästchen der Sammlung Monheim, Aachen', in Aachener Kunstblätter 40 (1971), pp. 237-244.
E. G. Grimme, 'Die Schenkung Peter und Irene Ludwig für das Suermondt-Museum', in Aachener Kunstblätter 51 (1982), no. 45.
Ludwigs Lust: die Sammlung Irene und Peter Ludwig, dir. by M. Eissenhauer, exhibition catalogue, Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 19 June-10 October 1993, no. 77.
I. Bajorat, U. Däberitz, R. Wilfroth, Verlustdokumentation der Gothaer Kunstsammlungen, vol. I: Die kunsthandwerklichen Sammlungen (Gotha, 1997), no. 70, p. 72.
Götter, Helden und Idole: Meisterwerke alter und neuer Kunst aus den Sammlungen Ludwig und Museen der Welt, ed. by B. Mensch and P. Pachnicke, exhibition catalogue, Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, 1998, no. 41, pp. 148-150.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, p. 561, in relation to no. 162.


© Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen. Photography: Anne Gold.

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