copper-gilt body with champlevé enamel and applied copper-gilt roundels
7 x 13.25 x 4.25 in
17.78 x 33.66 x 10.80 cm
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
Made in Limoges, the primary medieval town for enameling, this reliquary casket reveals the brilliance and skill of the most prestigious enamellers of the 13th century. The simple architectural shape is decorated on the sides and lid with twelve enameled angels in brilliant colors. Eight copper roundels displaying angels in relief are nailed to the front, flanking the dragon-shaped latch. Reliquaries like this one were used to hold saints’ relics, from actual body parts to personal garments. It is likely that this particular reliquary, since it is not decorated with scenes of an individual saint’s life, contained relics from various sacred sources.