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7 openwork roundels or medallions (médaillons ajourés) (Front)

7 openwork roundels or medallions (médaillons ajourés) (Front)
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Private collection

DEC1525 (formerly K911)


Height: 23mm (diameter of each piece)

Seated saint Peter holding a key; open book.
Seated saint John the Baptist holding the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei). Harrowing of Hell with Adam and Eve coming out of the Mouth of Hell. Annunciation; vase of lilies; dove of the Holy Spirit.
Seated saint John the Evangelist with the poisoned cup; martyr's palm. Seated saint Paul holding a sword; open book.
Carrying of the Cross with the Virgin helping Christ.

Williamson 1987: Franco-Flemish, c. 1400.
Rotterdam 2012: Ntherlandish, c. 1400.


Polychromy - Gilding
Extensive traces of gilding and polychromy: gold (hair, haloes, cross,...), red (clothes; background), blue (clothes), green (background; martyr's palms; trees), greyish pink (clothes).

Object Condition
Missing: parts of the borders.

Rasmussen, in 1977, illustrated the very fragmentary remains of an eighth roundel whose subject matter could not be identified, but only seven roundels were sold at Sotheby's in 1977. Each roundel is mounted on a vellum background which is almost certainly original, as it is painted in the same crimson colour as the one used for the soldier's garment in the Carrying of the Cross scene. Many of these medallions would originally have been mounted on reliquaries, such as the one illustrated on f. 328v of the set of watercolours commissioned by Cardinal Abrecht von Brandenburg (b. 1490, d. 1545) of the collection of reliquaries at Halle, called the Hallesche Heiltum (now in Aschaffenburg, Stifts- und Schlossbibliothek, MS Aschaffenb. 14). All preceding information is taken from Williamson 1987.

Swiss private collection. Collection of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (b. 1921, d. 2002), Castagnola-Lugano (bought, Sotheby's, London, 15 December 1977, lot 28); thence by descent to the present owner.

J. Rasmussen, 'Untersuchungen zum Halleschen Heiltum des Kardinals Albrecht von Brandenburg', in Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 28 (1977), pp. 91-132 (pp. 112-114, fig. 68).
P. Williamson, Medieval Sculpture and Works of Art. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (London, 1987), no. 27.
S. Kemperdick, F. Lammertse, The Road to Van Eyck, exhibition catalogue, Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2012, p. 73.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, pp. 610-11, in relation to no. 188.


© Private Collection.

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