Ivory bronze-mounted casket

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Origin
France
Period
14th century
Material
Ivory, Bronze
Dimensions
4.5 x 8.7 x 6 cm
Literature

P. Lorenzelli & A. Veca, Tra/e, Teche, pissidi, cofani e forzieri dall’ Alto Medioevo al Barocco, Bergamo 1985, pp. 147 - 149.

E. Berger, Prunk-Kassetten: Europäische Meisterwerke aus acht Jahrhunderten, Stuttgart 1998, p. 98, 99.

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Description

This gothic ivory casket was made in France in the 14th century. The loose smooth ivory panels are held together by a system of bronze straps, pinned into the ivory. These nails can be seen on the inside of the panels. The bronze straps each end in a, more or less stylized, fleur-de-lis. The rectangular casket closes with a lock and a hinged clasp, in a square bronze base. The handle at the top is attached with diamond-shaped bosses. The casket probably stood on four feet, see also the ivory box in E. Berger, Prunk-Kassetten, p. 98.

Ivory was a luxurious material and a casket like this, made entirely out of ivory, is likely to have been used to store valuables, both secular and religious. Similar caskets are known to have served as reliquaries, see for example this casket in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (BK-NM-9373)

Cites no: 4890020973082

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