Pair of appliques, Central-Italië

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Origin
Central Italy
Period
15th century
Material
Copper, champlevé enamel, gilding
Dimensions
8.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 cm
Literature

E. Taburet - Delahaye, B. Drake Boehm, L’ Oeuvre de Limoges. Emaux limousins du Moyen Age. Paris 1995, pp. 49-54
M. Gautheir, Emaux du moyen age occidental, Fribourg 1972, p. 274, pp. 393-395

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Description

These two gilded and enamelled quatrefoil appliques were part of a processional cross. Parts of the red, green, and white enamel are intact, especially in the right applique. The gilding of the appliques is partly worn away and shows the underlying copper.

The right applique presumably depicts Mary, and the figure on the left applique with a cross in his hand is one of the apostles. Many processional crosses had appliques of the apostles. The positioning of Mary, her body turned to the right, suggests that she was to the left of Jesus on the cross in the original processional cross. The apostle, looking forward, was probably attached to the bottom or top of the cross.

A processional cross is a, often richly decorated, crucifix attached to a staff. In processions and other church ceremonies in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the processional cross is carried by an altar boy. During mass, processional crosses have a central place near the altar. Mary and the apostles are often depicted on processional crosses.

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