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Head of crozier (crosse) (Side 1)

Head of crozier (crosse) (Side 1)
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Side 2

Side 1

Side 2

Side 1

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London, Victoria and Albert Museum



Height: 245 mm
Width: 125 mm
Depth: 47 mm

Side 1: Standing Virgin and Child (Vierge glorieuse); Christ holding a fruit in his left hand; saint John the Baptist holding the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei); camel hide; unidentified bishop saint with mitre and crozier (possibly saint Bodo, also called saint Bodon or saint Leudinus).
Side 2: Crucifixion with the Virgin and saint John the Evangelist; angels holding the sun and the moon.
Kneeling angels supporting the volute. Tonsured monk kneeling; crozier. Musician angel playing the psaltery; musician angel blowing a trumpet.
Arches and pinnacles at the base of the volute. Foliated decoration. Coats of arms.

Koechlin Number: 0769

Griggs 1904-1907: France, 14th century.
Koechlin 1924: France, 2nd half of 14th century.
Longhurst 1929: France, 2nd half of the 14th century.
Williamson and Davies 2014: French (Lorraine), about 1330-1350. Shaft: 19th century.


Carved on both sides.

Object Condition
Side 1: the front section of the architectural base has cracked, sheared off and been repaired.
Lower part of volute broken in two with a deep crack running between the backs of the kneeling angels. This was repaired by insertion of large pin, now concealed by two ivory plugs.
Missing: heads of the angels holding the psaltery and the moon; drapery area behind the left foot and to the left forearm of the kneeling angel below the Virgin and Child (19th-century repairs).
The coats of arms are partly defaced.
Missing: staff.

The eight standing figures which once occupied the spaces beneath the arcades we possibly made of gilt copper and were attached by gluing onto the crosshatched background and with dowels (Williamson and Davies 2014). On acquisition, the head was supported by a 19th-century shaft (173mm high) decorated with foliated scrolls, flowers, four blank shields and the lower part of a shield with two lozenges (in the upper part of the shaft), and another footed shaft with a knop of quatrefoils also enclosing blank shields (see Longhurst 1929, pl. XXXIII).
On the Craon family, see A. B. de Brousillion, La Maison de Craon, 1050-1480 (Paris, 1893), I, pp. 263-266.

Said to have come from the 'abbaye d'Estival' (see Martin 1856), this is more likely to be the Premonstratensian abbey of Saint-Pierre at Étival-Clairefontaine (Vosges) than the Benedictine convent headed by abbesses in Étival-en-Charnie (Sarthe). If this provenance is to be believed, the crozier may have belonged to one of the abbots in the period 1330-1350: Dominique de Rambervilliers (1328-1337), Albert de Onville (1337), Thierry de Moulin (1337-1341) or Pierre 1er (1341-1356); and the bishop saint depicted could be saint Bodon, founder of the abbey and first bishop of Toul (Williamson and Davies 2014). Collection of Prince Petr Soltykoff, Paris, by 1851: his sale, Drouot, Paris, 8 April 1861, lot 201; bought by Baron Achille Sellière, Sellière collection until 1890; collection of Martin Heckscher Vienna: his sale, 4 May 1898, lot 188 (with ill.); collection of George Salting: his bequest to the Museum in 1910.
Longhurst (1929) identified the partly visible coat of arms with lozenges on the staff as probably that of Jean de Craon (d. 1374), canon of Paris, archdeacon and later bishop of Le Mans (1347), archbishop of Rheims (1355), however, this is unacceptable as the arms feature on a 19th-century addition (Williamson and Davies 2014).

F. Séré and P. Lacroix, Le Moyen-Age et la Renaissance, 5 vols, (Paris, 1848-1861), V (1851), with reproductions.
A. Martin, 'Le Baton pastoral dans ses formes successives', in C. Cahier and A. Martin, Mélanges d'archéologie, d'histoire et de littérature 4 (Paris, 1856), pp. 248-249, figs. 142-144, pl. XVIII.
Abbé Barrault, A. Martin, Le Bâton pastoral. Etude archéologique (Paris, 1856), pp. 104-105, figs. 142-144, pl. XLVIII.
C. Fontaine, Recueil des différents monuments du diocèse de Saint-Dié (Saint-Dié, 1875), pp. 15-16, pl. LIX.
J. O. Westwood, Fictile Ivories in the South Kensington Museum (London, 1876), p. 414.
W. Griggs, Portfolio of Ivories [London, 1904-1907], pt. XX.
A. Maskell, Ivories (Connoisseurs Library), (London, 1905), p. 205 (erroneously says that it had a boiled leather case).
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 271-272, 274-275; II, no. 769; III, pl. CXXVII.
M. Longhurst, Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2 vols (London, 1927 and 1929), II (1929), p. 35, pl. XXXIII.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), no. 150.


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