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Pyxis, 2 registers, arches (pyxide; frise d'arcature; colonnettes)

Pyxis, 2 registers, arches (pyxide; frise d'arcature; colonnettes)
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Religious. Infancy of Christ.

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Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts

CA 1462

Ivory;metal (fittings;hinge;lock);wood (later bottom)

Height: 148mm

Register 1: Journey of the Three Magi; Magi on horseback. Annunciation to the Shepherds; musician peasant playing the bagpipes; sheep. Herod ordering the Massacre of the Innocents; soldiers. Miracle of the Cornfield; peasant; soldier in armour. Flight into Egypt; tree.
Register 2: Visitation. Annunciation; vase of lilies. Adoration of the Magi. Nativity; Joseph holding Christ Child. Presentation in the Temple; Virgin holding Christ.

Koechlin Number: 0231

Notice 1834 and Catalogue 1883: end of the 14th century.
Chabeuf 1896: 1st half of the 14th century.
Koechlin 1924: France, 1st third of the 14th century.
Maurice 1983: France, 1st half of the 14th century.
Paris 1998: Paris or Eastern France, c. 1300-1330.
Museum's opinion 2011: France (Paris) or Eastern France, c. 1300-1330.

Atelier of the Tabernacles of the Virgin (Koechlin 1924)Master of the Dijon Pyxis (eponymous attribution given by Gaborit-Chopin in Paris 1998)

Polychromy - Gilding
Extensive traces of 19th-century polychromy and gilding (possibly following earlier polychromy): gold (decorated background; hair; pseudo-kufic inscriptions, painted trefoils, etc).

Carved on all sides.

Object Condition
Several vertical cracks. The pyxis was re-assembled and painted in 1832 by a restorer called Dutartre.

The lid of this box is also in Dijon (CA 1462-2).
Cyprien Monget argues it could have been designed to hold hosts and offered as a present to the Chartreuse de Champmol by Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, as it is recorded that he gave as a present tongs for baking hosts ('une paire de fers à faire pain à chanter'). The box was equiped with new metal fittings and its polychromy was revived in 1832 by a restorer named Dutartre, this work was commissioned by M. Févret de St Mesmin, curator from 1817 to 1854 (letter from Dutartre recording this work dated 1 August 1832).

Said to have come from the abbey of Cîteaux, together with two caskets of Eastern origin now in the Dijon Museum and known as the 'Toilettes des Duchesses de Bourgogne' (this hypothesis was possibly based on the Inventaire du trésor de la sacristie de Cîteaux, dated 8 April 1791 (Archives départementales de la Côte d'Or, Q 824, item 36), which mentions 'cinq boîtes de toilettes des Duchesses de Bourgogne dont quatre contiennent des reliques anciennes', but no mention of material was made). However, a description of the museum collection (made 14 September 1830) gives a different provenance designating it as a box 'anciennement conservée à la Chartreuse de Dijon, avec les toilettes des Duchesses de Bourgogne'. This is repeated in 1898 by Cyprien Monget in his work on the Dijon Charterhouse (Chartreuse de Champmol).

Notice des ouvrages de peinture et de sculpture exposés au Musée du Département de la Côte d'Or (Dijon, An VII (1799)), nos. 195-199.
Etat descriptif des statues, bustes, bas-reliefs, bronzes et autres ouvrages de sculpture antique et moderne de la collection du musée de Dijon (Dijon, 14 September 1830), no. 198.
Notice des objets d'art exposés au Musée de Dijon (Dijon, 1834), no. 660.
Catalogue historique et descriptif du Musée de Dijon: peintures, sculptures, dessins, antiquités (Dijon, 1883), no. 1462.
Exposition rétrospective du Trocadéro, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1889, no. 128.
E. Molinier, Musée National du Louvre. Catalogue des ivoires (Paris, 1896), p. 193.
H. Chabeuf, 'Boîte en ivoire au musée de Dijon', in Magasin Pittoresque (1896), pp. 255-256 (with ill.).
H. Chabeuf, 'Deux ivoires du musée de Dijon', in Revue de l'Art Chrétien (1898), pp. 226-228 (with ill.).
C. Monget, La Chartreuse de Dijon, 3 vols (Montreuil-sur-Mer, 1898-1905), I, p. 242.
Exposition Universelle de 1900, Catalogue illustré Officiel de l'Exposition Rétrospective de l'Art Français (Paris, 1900), no. 102, p. 17.
E. Molinier, F. Marcou, L'Exposition rétrospective de l'Art français des origines à 1900 (Paris, 1900), p. 7 (ill.).
L. Gonse, Les Chefs-d'oeuvre des musées de province: Sculpture, Dessins, Objets d'art (Paris, 1904), p. 153.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 138, 476; II, no. 231; III, pl. LX.
Exhibition of French Art 1200-1900, exhibition catalogue, London, Academy of Arts, 1932, no. 1067.
F. Marion, Les arts mineurs au musée de Dijon (Dijon, 1934), p. 46.
Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'art français, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Palais national des arts, Paris, 1937, no. 1258.
P. Quarré, Musée de Dijon, Salle des Gardes, Salle des Chefs d'oeuvre: Catalogue sommaire à l'usage des visiteurs (Dijon, 1945), no. 5.
La Vierge dans l'art français, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Petit-Palais, 1950, no. 244.
Tardy, Les Ivoires (Paris, 1966), p. 38.
W. D. Wixom, Treasures of Medieval France, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967, no. V-16.
L'Europe gothique, XIIe-XIVe siècle, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1968, no. 360.
Art et liturgie au Moyen Age, exhibition catalogue, Chambéry, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Caen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1976-1977, no. 10.
D. Gaborit-Chopin, Ivoires du Moyen Age (Freiburg, 1978), p. 152.
M. Guillaume, 'Oeuvres provenant de Cîteaux conservées au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon', in Mémoires de la Commission des Antiquités de la Côte d'Or, vol. XXXI, 1978-1979, pp. 221-222.
B. Maurice, Quelques recherches sur les ivoires du musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, unpublished Mémoire de maîtrise de l'Université de Dijon, 1983, pp. 25-29, no. 7.
L'art au temps des rois maudits: Philippe le Bel et ses fils (1285-1328), exhibition catalogue, Paris, Grand Palais, 1998, no. 107.


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