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Casket (coffret; frise d'arcatures) (End, left)

Casket (coffret; frise d'arcatures) (End, left)
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Body, front

End, right

Body, back

Body, back

Body, front

End, right

End, left


Secular. Religious. Arthurian romance. Saints.

Repository Institution

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Paris, Musée du Louvre

OA 122

Ivory;silver (modern fittings)

Height: 74mm
Width: 225mm
Depth: 113mm

Saint Christopher carrying the Christ child across the river. Saint Martin and the beggar; trees. Saint George and the dragon; angel holding his helmet. Vision of saint Eustace (saint Hubert); saint Eustace kneeling; head of Christ between the stag's antlers; trees.
Rounded trefoils in the spandrels. Medallions enclosing quatrefoils with protruding cones in the spandrels.
End, left
Perceval le Gallois (Percival) in hooded costume kneeling with a bow before three knights on horseback; shields, as he believes they are angels.
Body, back
Perceval conversing with his mother. Perceval's mother swoons; three women preventing her from falling into a river. Perceval rides on horseback. Perceval kissing a young lady against her will in a tent.
End, right
Perceval on horseback; Round table with Guinevere, Arthur, and knights; lady whom Perceval kissed being mistreated by her lover.
Body, front
Perceval fighting the knight with the vermilion armour (Chevalier aux armes vermeilles); who had stolen the cup from the queen and kills him. Perceval with the dead knight. Perceval being dressed by Jonès in the knight's armour.

Koechlin Number: 1310

Koechlin 1924: France, 1st half of the 14th century.
Natanson 1951: French, c. 1330-1350.
Paris 1998, Gaborit-Chopin 2003 and Museum's opinion 2010: Paris, c. 1310-1330


Carved on all sides.

Object Condition
Ivory cracked.Early repairs to edges of the lid and the long rear side, around the hinges; lid slightly warped.
Small cracks at the edges; open crack on left end (at upper-right).
Modern ironwork.
Interior lined with a modern red-and-yellow fabric. See unpublished report by A. Cascio and J. Levy, 1993.

Under the lid: two engraved crosses and label: '250'; 19th century pencil marking 'Valentin et ourson [for Valentina and Orson?]/Galopin'. This is the only known casket to be dedicated to the story of Perceval le Gallois, by Chrétien de Troyes (see Gaborit-Chopin 2003).

Collection of Alexandre-Charles Sauvageot, Paris (no. 261); gift of Alexandre-Charles Sauvageot, 1856.

A. Darcel, 'La collection Sauvageot', in Annales archéologiques, XVI, 1856, p. 223.
A. Sauzay, Musée impérial du Louvre. Catalogue du musée Sauvageot (Paris, 1861), no. 261.
A. Sauzay, Musée de la Renaissance [Musée du Louvre]. Notice des ivoires (Paris, 1863), no. 72.
M. Rigollot, Histoire des arts du dessin depuis l'époque romaine jusqu'à la fin du XVIe siècle (Paris, 1864), no. LVII, pl. 2.
E. Molinier, Musée National du Louvre. Catalogue des ivoires (Paris, 1896), no. 62.
R. Loomis, 'The Tristan and Perceval Caskets', in Romanic Review, VIII, no. 2, 1917.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 474, 513-516, II, no. 1310, III, pl. CCXXIII-CCXXIV.
L. Grodecki, Ivoires français (Paris, 1947), p. 117.
J. Natanson, Gothic Ivories of the 13th and 14th Centuries (London, 1951), p. 37, fig. 40.
M. de Carvalho Quaresma, O Marfim na Arte plastica (Guimaraes, 1959), fig. 4.
O. Beigbeder, Les Ivoires (Paris, 1965), fig. 40-41.
D. Fouquet, 'Das Elfenbeinkästchen der Sammlung Monheim, Aachen', in Aachener Kunstblätter, 40, 1971, pp. 239-241, fig. 4, 5.
Tesoros Medievales del Museo del Louvre, exhibition catalogue, Mexico, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, 1993 p. 136.
D. Gaborit-Chopin, 'Les ivoires gothiques français', in Louvre. Trésors du Moyen Âge. Dossier de l'art, no. 16, Dec. 1993-Jan. 1994, p. 38, fig. 7
Images in Ivory. Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, ed. by Peter Barnet, exhibition catalogue, Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, 1997, no. 62, pp. 240-241.
L'art au temps des rois maudits: Philippe le Bel et ses fils (1285-1328), exhibition catalogue, Paris, Grand Palais, 1998, no. 102.
Le Stanze di Artù, ed. by E. Castelnuovo, exhibition catalogue, Alessandria, Complesso conventuale di San Francesco, ex Ospedale militare, 1999-2000, no. 25, fig.
P. M. Shoppe, Reading Romances. The Production and Reception of French Gothic Secular Ivory Caskets in the Context of Late Medieval Literary Practices (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, 2000), esp. pp. 119-161.
D. Gaborit-Chopin, Ivoires médiévaux, Ve-XVe siècle (Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2003), no. 132.
La Légende du roi Arthur, dir. by T. Delcourt, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2009, no. 26.


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