Crozier with the Annunciation
|Medium:||champlevé enamel on gilt copper|
|Dimensions:||13 x 4 ½ x 2 ¾ in. (33 x 11.5 x 7 cm)|
|Credit Line:||acquired by Henry Walters|
|Description:||head of a crosier (pastoral staff) with an image of the Annunciation|
The head of this crosier (pastoral staff) for a bishop or abbot depicts on its curling volute the Archangel Gabriel appearing before the Virgin Mary and greeting her as the chosen woman who was to bear Jesus, the Son of God (Luke 1: 27-35). Gabriel raises his right forearm in a gesture of speech indicating his salutation “Hail, Mary, full of Grace”. The archangel also holds a scepter shaped like a lily, a symbol of the Virgin’s purity. The Virgin raises one hand in surprise and wonder and holds a book with the other. The spiraling volute encircling the two figures is engraved with floral details and geometric patterns and inset with glass-paste cabochon stones. On the knob are six raised enamel shields, possibly the heraldry of an unknown patron. Three dragons with curling tails and cabochons animate the staff below. This piece very closely resembles another crosier with an image of the Coronation of the Virgin. The extensive engraving and the limited use of enamel suggest that it was made in the latter half of the thirteenth century.
- ↑ L. Réau, Iconographie de l’art chrétien, 3 vols. (Paris, 1955-9), II.2: 183.
- ↑ On this type of knob: J. P. O’Neill, ed. Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1996), 394.
- ↑ Private collection: E. Bertrand, Émaux limousines du Moyen Âge, exh. cat., Brimo de Laroussilhe (Paris, 1995), 112-3: cat. 21.
- ↑ Marie-Madeleine Gauthier, letter to Richard Randall dated January 18, 1968.
[Antiquar Drey, Munich]; Walter Sneyd (d. 1888), Keele Hall, Staffordshire, ca. 1860, by purchase; Sneyd estate, by descent; [Christie’s, London, July 1902, no. 86] – [Jacques Seligmann, Paris]; Henry Walters (d. 1931), Baltimore, by purchase; Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1931, by bequest.
C. Becker & J. H. von Hefner-Alteneck, Kunstwerke und Geräthschaften des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, 3 vols. (Frankfurt a. M., 1863), III: 28-9 with pl. 29
J. C. Robinson, ed. Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works of Art of the Medieval, Renaissance and More Recent Periods, exh. cat., South Kensington Museum (London, 1863), 79: cat. 1098
J. H. von Hefner-Alteneck, Trachten, Kunstwerke und Geräthschaften vom frühen Mittelalter bis Ende des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts, 10 vols. (Frankfurt a. M., 1879-89), II: 28 with pl. 130F
J. J. Marquet de Vasselot, Les crosses limousines du XIIIe siècles (Paris, 1941), 250 with pls. xv and xxxv: cat. 92
R. H. Randall, “The Medieval Artist and Industrialized Art”, Apollo 84 (1966), 434-41, esp. 435 and 439
W. R. Johnston, ed., The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland, 1800-1934, exh. cat., Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1984), 72: cat. 147