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Casket (coffret; frise d'arcatures)

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


Body, back

End, left

End, right

Religious. Saints.

Repository Institution

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Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum


Ivory;metal (fittings and lock);enamel (lock and fittings)

Height: 43mm
Width: 96mm
Depth: 55-58mm

Saint Agnes with a lamb and book. Saint Peter holding a key; saint Paul holding a sword. Saint John the Baptist holding the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei). Saint Stephen holding a stone. Saint Catherine of Alexandria with wheel and martyr's palm.
Body, front
Saint Catherine of Alexandria before emperor Maxentius; she refuses to worship pagan statues (?).
End, right
Emperor Maxentius ordering the fifty philosophers to be burned alive; Maxentius holding a pair of gloves.
Body, back
Martyrdom of saint Catherine of Alexandria; saint Catherine of Alexandria is tortured on a wheel with iron spikes; the wheel is destroyed by a thunderbolt from heaven. Saint Catherine of Alexandria is beheaded.
End, left
Soul of the martyred saint carried to heaven by two angels. Two standing men holding scrolls.
On lock: landscape with hare.
On mounts: hybrids and animals.
Pointed trefoils.

London 1923: France, late 14th century.
Museum's opinion 2011: France, 2nd half of the 14th century.


On the bottom, label with ink inscription: Loan from 'Revd Theodore Mayo, 1878, no. 4'.

Object Condition
The lid has a vertical crack on the right side. Later repair to the upper left corner of the back panel.

The interior of the casket is lined with red fabric.

Property of Sir William Laurence (in 1923). Collection of Rev. Theodore Mayo (label on base). Sotheby's, London, 16 November 1942, lot 96 (property of a lady). Bought from Leverton Harris Fund.

Catalogue of the Loan Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, South Kensington Museum, London, 1878.
Catalogue of an Exhibition of Carvings in Ivory, exhibition catalogue, London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1923, no. 137, p. 83.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 477.


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