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Chalice (calice), 8 arches (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes)

Chalice (calice), 8 arches (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes)
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Milan, Museo del Duomo


Ivory;gilt copper;enamel

Height: 77mm (ivory only); 240mm (total height)
Width: 103-116mm (diameter)

Seven Liberal Arts with attributes.
Trivium, Quadrivium, and Medicine.
Geometry holding a square and a compass; Arithmetic holding a tablet with Arabic numerals; Dialectic holding a snake (?) and a glove; Astronomy holding a sundial and looking at the sky; Grammar holding a bundle of rods and teaching students; Rhetoric as a friar teaching three scholars; Medicine holding a vial of urine; Music playing bells.
Fleur-de-lys. Pinnacles. Rose windows.

Koechlin Number: 1243

Koechlin 1924: France, early 14th century. Related to the Soissons group (Atelier du Diptyque de Soissons).
Vitali 1976: France, beginning of the 14th century.
Restituzioni 2011: German (Cologne), 14th century (ivory) and Lombardy; 13th century-early 14th century (Italian metalwork foot).

Related to the Soissons group (Atelier du Diptyque de Soissons) (Koechlin 1924)

Carved in the round.

Object Condition
Document dated to 2 March 1570 (inv. Castelli, Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Ms. A 112 inf. f. 318) stating that the former metal base was melted by the goldsmith Francesco da Como in order to make candelabras: it was replaced by the base one can see today, probably reusing enamel roundels from the former base.
Traces of use at the borders.

This may originally have been a pyx to which were added an earlier Italian foot (Lombardy; 13th century-early 14th century) (see Restituzioni 2011).

Treasury of the ducal chapel in San Gottardo, Milan (founded in 1330 by Azzone Visconti): entry in inventory dated 16 August 1440 describing 'Calix seu cupa una de osse seu ligne cum pede argenti fini smaldati' (see Restituzioni 2011); probably transferred to the Treasury of Milan Cathedral during the Golden Ambrosian Republic (1447-1450).

P. Morigia, Distinto ragguaglio dell'ottava maraviglia del mondo, o sia della gran metropolitana dell'Insubria volgarmente detta il Duomo di Milano, cominciando dalla sua origine sino allo stato presente, in cui vengono minutamente, e con molta diligenza descritte tutte le sue parti tanto esteriori, come interiori, ... e finalmente si descrivono alcune chiese di particolar divozione, con altre cose notabili di questa insigne metropoli (Milan, 1739), p. 71.
L. Malvezzi, Il Tesoro del Duomo di Milano (Milan, 1840), p. 16, no. IV.
R. Koechlin, 'Quelques ivoires gothiques français connus antérieurement au XIXe siècle', in Revue de l'Art Chrétien 41 (1911), pp. 387-402, fig. 13, 14.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 84, 366, 452; II, no. 1243; III, pl. CCIII.
M. Salmi, 'Il Tesoro del Duomo di Milano', in Dedalo, V (1925), pp. 357-364.
U. Nebbia, Il Tesoro del Duomo di Milano (Milan, 1962), pp. 32-35.
M. Cinotti, 'Tesoro e Arti minori', in Il Duomo di Milano, II (Milan, 1973), pp. 243-244, n. 36-37, figs 308-309.
L. Vitali, Avori gotici francesi (Milan, 1976), no. 1.
Visite pastorali alle pievi milanesi (1423-1856), I, Inventario, ed. by A. Palestra (Firenze, 1977), p. 178.
M. Cinotti and R. Bossaglia, Tesoro e Museo del Duomo (Milan, 1978), pp. 53-54.
P. Venturelli, Smalto, oro e preziosi: oreficeria e arti suntuarie nel Ducato di Milano tra Visconti e Sforza (Venice, 2003), pp. 25-37.
Restituzioni 2011: tesori d'arte restaurati, ed. by C. Bertelli (Venice, 2011), pp. 124-129.


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