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Wing, left (fragment of a diptych), 1 register, 3 arches across (plaquette, frise d'arcatures); used as part of the reliquary binding of a book known as the 'Évangéliaire pourpre' (Purple Evangeliary) (Front)

Wing, left (fragment of a diptych), 1 register, 3 arches across (plaquette, frise d'arcatures); used as part of the reliquary binding of a book known as the 'Évangéliaire pourpre' (Purple Evangeliary) (Front)
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Religious. Saints.

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Épinal, Bibliothèque multimedia intercommunale Épinal-Golbey

MS 265 P/R

Ivory;vermeil, rock crystal, amber, traces of enamel (later binding)

Height: 200mm
Width: 120mm

Saint John the Baptist holding the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei); camel hide; standing Virgin and Child; angel crowning the Virgin; two angels holding navettes and swinging censers; saint Catherine of Alexandria with wheel, martyr's palm and sword; saint Catherine of Alexandria trampling emperor Maxentius; crown.
Pinnacles; incised trefoils and pointed trefoils.

Koechlin Number: 0587

Koechlin 1924: France, 2nd half of 14th century.
Épinal Library's opinion 2012: France (Paris?), 2nd half of 14th century.
Gaborit-Chopin 2012: France, 2nd quarter of the 14th century-mid 14th century.


Traces of two missing hinges on the right side.

Polychromy - Gilding
No trace of gilding or polychromy.

Not visible.

The panel has been inserted in a late 15th-century binding which contains relics in its corners. The manuscript thus bound is a 9th-century Gospel according to saint Mark, and not a Gospel book, as the name of 'Évangéliaire pourpre' mistakenly suggests. This re-use of the ivory wing may have happened as early as the mid 15th century (D. Gaborit-Chopin 2012). The reliquaries are closed with representations of the four symbols of the Evangelists (missing the calf of saint Luke).

The manuscript belonged to the Saint Goëry Chapter of Épinal from the mid 15th century until before the French Revolution (it contains, on leaves added in the 15th century, the coat of arms of the chapter and a miniature depicting its patron, saint Goëry on f. 4); collection of the Marquis Joseph de Ludres (according to Koechlin 1924, a member of the Ludres family saved the manuscript from destruction during the French Revolution): given by him to the library of Épinal in 1841 (see Briguel 1841).

Compte-rendu de la Société d'Émulation des Vosges, written by M. Briguel, secrétaire adjoint (1841), pp. 268-269.
J.-F. Deblaye, 'L'Évangéliaire de l'ancienne abbaye des chanoinesses d'Épinal', in Annales du monde religieux (1880), pp. 193-197.
G. Save, 'Reliure du 14e siècle de la bibliothèque d'Épinal', in Lorraine artiste (1891), pp. 223-224.
Exposition rétrospective de l'art français des origines à 1800, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Petit Palais, 1900, no number.
Abbé Bouilhet, 'La Lorraine au Petit-Palais', in Notes d'art et d'archéologie (1901).
R. Koechlin, 'Quelques ivoires gothiques français', in Revue de l'art chrétien (1911), p. 7 [offprint].
R. Koechlin, 'Quelques ivoires gothiques français connus antérieurement au XIXe siècle', in Revue de l'Art Chrétien 41 (1911), pp. 281-292, fig. 3.
R. Koechlin, Essai de classement chronologique d'après la forme de leur manteau des vierges du 14e siècle debout, portant l'Enfant', in Actes du congrès d'histoire de l'art, III. Art occidental. Sculpture - gravure - arts décoratifs (Paris, 1921), pp. 490-496.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 195, 199, 207, 219, 244; II, no. 587; III, pl. CI.
M. Longhurst, Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2 vols (London, 1927 and 1929), II (1929), p. 28 (in relation to 277-1867).
Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'art français, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Palais national des arts, Paris, 1937, no. 1261.
La plume et le parchemin, exhibition catalogue, Nancy, Musée lorrain, 29 May-29 July 1984, no. 32.
Trésors des bibliothèques de Lorraine, dir. by P. Hoch (Paris, 1988), no. 4.
Full entry of the Purple Evangeliary, including a more complete bibliography accessible from the Épinal-Golbey library website: http://www.bmi-epinalgolbey.fr:8080/base_patrimoine/Francais/collection.php?id_col=45&type=manuscrits&id_doc=77&etat=f [accessed September 2012].


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