A & A spacer courtauld institute of art
quick search advanced search browse temp folder

Casket with arches (coffret; frise d'arcatures); used as a reliquary (Body, back)

Casket with arches (coffret; frise d'arcatures); used as a reliquary (Body, back)
enlarge image zoom image


Body, front

End, right

End, left

Body, front

Body, back

End, right

End, left


Religious. Saints. Apostles.

Capri, Parrocchia ex cattedrale Santo Stefano Protomartire


Ivory;gilt silver (later fittings ending in fleur-de-lys)

Height: 61mm
Width: 83mm
Depth: 69mm

Register 1: saint Anne holding the hand of the crowned Virgin; books. Annunciation; dove of the Holy Spirit. Nativity with swaddled Christ Child in manger. Crowned Virgin holding the hand of Christ (?).
Register 2: saint Paul holding a sword; saint Peter holding a key. Saint James the Greater with a pilgrim's hat, staff and satchel; unidentified saint holding a martyr's palm (possibly saint John the Evangelist); saint Judas with a spear (?); saint Andrew with a saltire cross. Saint John the Baptist holding the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei); unidentified male saint.
Body, front
Unidentified female saint (nun) holding a martyr's palm; saint Stephen holding a book and a stone. Kneeling couple supporting the lock; tree. Unidentified female saints holding books and pyxes or ointment pots (possibly including saint Clare?).
End, right
Saint Margaret emerging from the dragon, holding a crucifix; saint Agnes with a lamb. Female saint holding a pyxis or an ointment pot (possibly saint Clare?); saint Catherine of Alexandria with wheel and martyr's palm; crown.
Body, back
Two unidentified male saints. Two unidentified blessing saint bishops with mitre and crozier; blessing gesture. Saint Bartholomew with a flaying knife; unidentified male saint holding a dagger.
End, left
Unidentified male saint; saint James the Lesser with a fuller's club. Noli me Tangere (Christ appearing to saint Mary Magdalene).
Incised trefoils in the spandrels.
Engraved inscription on the lock: 'WIEN' (according to Serra 1937).

Serra 1937 and Lipinsky 1968: French, 2nd half of the 14th century.


Carved on all sides.

The casket used to contain the list of relics kept in Capri Cathedral (at least in 1937)

Said to have been given by Joanna I of Anjou (r. 1343-1381) to the ancient cathedral of Capri.

L. Serra, 'Due reliquiari d'arte francese in S. Stefano di Capri', in Bollettino d'Arte, III, 30/10 (1937), pp. 451-459.
A. Lipinsky, 'Il reliquiario di S. Costanzo in S. Stefano a Capri. Contributi per la storia dell'arte orafa nel Regno di Napoli e Sicilia (II)', in Napoli Nobilissima, 7/1-2 (1968), pp. 34-40.
C. Ebanista, 'Giobbe Ruocco e la chiesa di San Costanzo: un approccio archeologico al medioevo caprese', in Giobbe Ruocco, Capri, la storia. Atti del Convegno di studi (Capri 23-24 Novembre 2007), ed. by E. Federico (Capri, 2010), p. 218.


© Parrocchia ex cattedrale Santo Stefano Protomartire, Capri.

All images on this website are made available exclusively for scholarly and educational purposes and may not be used commercially.

spacer spacer spacer spacer
Please remember to acknowledge any use of the site in publications and lectures as: 'Gothic Ivories Project at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk', followed by the date you accessed the site.